The best male and female athletes with disabilities were honoured for their outstanding performances and achievements in their respective fields of sport in an awards ceremony on 2 December 2014, in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
The ceremony was held in conjunction with the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) General Assembly, Conference and Elections at the Yas Viceroy Hotel in Abu Dhabi. For 2014, new award categories were introduced, inspired by the exceptional achievements of the athletes and contingents in the Asian Para Games in Incheon.
The first award for the night, Best Female Youth Athlete, was presented to Miki Kamada of Japan, a 17-year-old who made waves at the Asian Youth Para Games 2013 with one silver and three gold. She then won two bronze medals at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games.
China’s Wang Hao was awarded the trophy for Best Male Youth Athlete. Wang Hao who started athletics training five years ago at the age of 14, blew away the competition to take three gold medals at the Asian Youth Para Games in 2013. A repeat performance won him another three top-of-the-podium finishes at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games.
Teamwork was also rewarded and the NPC whose teams recorded the best achievements were selected. The Best Team Sports Performance Female recipient was China and the Best Team Sports Performance Male was won by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Lin Furong of China won the Best Male Athlete award. At the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games, Lin became the most decorated athlete by winning six gold medals, breaking three Asian and three Games records. 22-year-old Lin hails from Foshan China and took up the sport of swimming in 2005. He created waves at the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games with four gold, then went on to win a gold, silver and bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games double gold medallist Sareh Javanmardidodmani of Iran was awarded the prize for Best Female Athlete. She won the women’s 10m and mixed 50m air pistol SH1 events in Incheon breaking two world records on her way to victory. She made history earlier this year by becoming the only Iranian woman to claim a world championship gold medal.
The APC Special Recognition Award was established to honour nations that have shown tremendous commitment in developing their athletes and great improvement in their performance, especially from the previous Games in Guangzhou to the most recent Incheon Asian Para Games. Recipients were Uzbekistan and Republic of Korea.
Uzbekistan showed a marked improvement by placing 5th in Incheon with their collection of 31 medals which includes 22 gold, compared to only one gold in 2010 in Guangzhou and an 18th place finish.
In Guangzhou four years ago, Korea took home 27 gold medals. On home ground, at the Incheon 2014 Games, the athletes smashed their own record, amassing 72 gold medals bringing their total to 211.