Chinese divers Shi Tingmao, Xie Siyi named FINA 2019 Best Athletes

2020-02-09 07:27:10 GMT2020-02-09 15:27:10(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Olympic champion Shi Tingmao was named the Best Women's Diver for the fifth consecutive year while world champion Xie Siyi celebrated his first ever Best Men's Diver award as FINA, the world swimming governing body, announced on Saturday.

Both Shi and Xie were the double winners in the 3m springboard events at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Gwangju last July.

"I am very very happy and honored to get this award again. It is always fresh and exciting to win something. I am not a self-satisfied person but this time I really really I want to give myself thumbs up and full marks to conclude my year of 2019. I am grateful to everyone who helps and supports me all the time," said Shi, who won the annual Best Diver award for fifth time in a row.

"My grandfather used to tell me that it's hard to focus on one thing in life and it's impossible to do it perfectly. I want to tell him 'I did it in diving'. I have learned a lot and enjoyed a lot from diving. My little wish is I can be the winner for the sixth time," the 29-year-old said.

For Xie Siyi, he was surprised with his first best diver award. "It is a big surprise for me. I never thought about it. The award is not only for me, but also for my team, including my coach, teammates, doctors and team staff since we are a big family. I really want to show my gratitude to them. The award also inspires me to work harder everyday and gives me a boost to show my best at the Tokyo Olympic Games. "

"It is a year of growth and I can see my improvement in every aspect. I would like to give myself 80 points for my performance for the whole year if the full mark is 100. There were some mistakes during the year but I overcame all of those ups-and-downs. I want to be stronger in mind," Xie said.

In swimming, the 2019 distinction went to Caeleb Dressel of the United States and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden in the women's category. Gary Hunt of Britain and Rhiannan Iffland of Australia won the High Diving.

Svetlana Romashina and Svetlana Kolesnichenko shared the victory for the Best Female Artistic Swimmer of the Year while Aleksandr Maltsev, also from Russia, was the Best Male Artistic Swimmer in 2019.

In open water swimming, Kristof Rasovszky of Hungary and Ana Marcela Cunha from Brazil dominated the field.

Team Italy and United States won the Best Water Polo honors as both teams claimed victory at the Gwangju worlds.

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