Mary Kom was named as the best female athlete at the first-ever 'Awards for Asia' ceremony organised by Asian Sportswriters Union (AIPS Asia), which took place on Tuesday. South Korea's football star Son Heung-min, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, was adjudged the best male athlete.
India's leading boxer Mary Kom bagged the award based on her exploits in the Asian women boxing scene. The 36-year-old mother of two is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in seven world championships.
With the World Championships starting on September 7, Mary Kom is eyeing a record seventh World Championship gold medal, which will take her past the Cuban legend Felix Savon.
While Mary Kom general weight category is 48kg, this time at the World Championships she will compete in the 51kg flyweight category - the one that's chosen for the Olympics next year.
Photo Credit: @AIPSmedia
On the other hand, Son was given the award for his contribution to Asian and South Korean football. Son is Asia's leading face as he plays for Tottenham in the Premier League and the Champions League. Last year, Son also guided South Korea to gold medal at Asian Games.
"Son is an amazing football player and we are delighted he has been selected as the first winner of the Asian awards," said Jung Hee Don, the President of the Korea Sports Press Union.
Apart from the individual awards, Japan women's football team won the best female team award for their 2011 Women's World Cup victory and runners-up finish in the World Cup in 2015. Having reached the quarter-finals of this year's World Cup, the team were also winners of the 2014 and 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup as well as the 2010 and 2018 Asian Games.
Qatar men's national football team won the best male team award after they won the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year. Qatar also participated in Copa America 2019 and put up strong performances against the South American biggies.