It was a great night for the sport of jiu jitsu after two of its world champions won big at the Black Iris Sports Awards, held under the patronage of HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, President of the Jordan Olympic Committee which organizes the event.
The popular veteran Malek Hariri won the Best Sportsman Category, while team mate Lama Qabbaj won the Best Sportswoman Category.
On a glorious night for Jordan sport, Khader Baqleh, 17, won the Best Young Achiever (male) sponsored by backaldrin, after becoming the first Jordanian to make an Olympic qualifying time, while taekwondo starlet Taleem Al Humaidi won the Best Young Achiever (female), sponsored by Peak, after a year that saw her win bronze in the Asian Championships.
In the Best Paralympic Athlete category, Khetam Abu Awad enjoyed a brilliant year when she qualified for this summer’s Rio Games in table tennis.
“The awards recognize and promote sporting excellence and the strength and depth of the five shortlists show the level of world-class talent that we are proud to call Jordanians,” said HRH Prince Feisal. “I would like to congratulate, not only the winners, but all of the tremendous sportsmen and women that were nominated. We are proud of you all.”
Voting for the 2015 awards smashed all previous records, with nearly 500,000 votes cast by the general public.
The Gala Dinner was held at the Kempinski Hotel in front of the Jordanian sporting family including Federation Presidents, Secretary Generals, athletes, families and the National and Regional Media.
Malik Al Hariri (Jujitsu): Seven gold, five silver and four bronze in 2015
Lama Qubbaj (Jujitsu): Gold in World Jiu Jitsu Championships, Top ranked in Asia and four in the world
Best Young Achiever (Male), sponsored by backaldrin
Khader Baqleh (Swimming): Two silver, two bronze at Arab Championships; Gold, two silver, two bronze at International Dubai Championships. First Jordanian to make Olympic qualification time (B) in 200m freestyle, three silvers at 8th Asian Age Championship.
Best Young Achiever (Female), sponsored by Peak
Taleen Al Humaidi (Taekwondo): Bronze at Asian Juniors Championships, Silver at Kazakhstan Championships
Best Paralympic Athlete
Khitam Abu Awad (Table Tennis): Silver at Rio qualifications and Gold at Slovenia International Championships