Athletes who excelled at the Asian and Commonwealth Games last year dominated nominations for the 2018 National Sports Awards, taking place on April 23rd.

"65 nominations have been received from national sports associations (NSAs), Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), National Sports Council (NSC) and Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC).

"Today’s selection committee meeting has shortlisted the candidates and winners of the various categories," NSC director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail told a press conference after the committee meeting at Menara KBS on Tuesday.

He said selection for the awards this time was based on the athletes' excellence at the Asian and Commonwealth Games as well as other world meets throughout 2018.

The National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year as well as National Para Sportsman and Para Sportswoman of the Year will each receive a trophy, certificate and RM20,000 cash.

Other awards include the National Men and Women’s Team of the Year, National Men and Women’s Coach of the Year, Sports Icon/Personality Award, Sports Leadership Award and Special Award.

"Some of the male athletes nominated are Azizulhasni Awang (cycling), Rafiq Ismail (bowling), Syahrul Azman Mahen (body building), Latif Romly (para athletics), Ziyad Zolkefli (para athletics), Ridzuan Puzi (para athletics).

"In the women’s category, we have S. Sivasanggari (squash), Siti Zalina Ahmad (lawn bowls), Siti Safiah Amirah (bowling) and many more," he added.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah will grace the event, which has been held since 1966 to recognise the excellence achieved by athletes, coaches, officials and sports associations throughout the year.