Sports Awards: Right on cue

Sports Awards: Right on cue
Billiards world champion Peter Gilchrist does not think he will ever have a better year than 2013.

He had won world titles in 1994 and 2001.

But Singapore billiards player Peter Gilchrist counts 2013 as the best year in a long career that has had tremendous highs and some lows.

Last year, the 46-year-old clinched back-to-back victories at the Irish Open in February and the Scottish Open in March, before beating world No. 1 David Causier in the long format final of the International Billiards and Snooker Federation World Billiards Championship in Leeds, England, in October.

He ended the year by claiming his third consecutive English billiards singles title at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December.

For his stellar season in 2013, the Middlesbrough-born Singaporean is on the shortlist for the Sportsman of the Year award at this year's Singapore Sports Awards, along with swimmer Joseph Schooling.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Gilchrist said: "Last year was even better than any during my younger days; I don't think I can do any better.

"It is such an honour and privilege to be nominated for this award because there are so many great sportsmen around in Singapore."

If he does get the nod, the world No. 2 will be the first to win the award in his sport.

Defending his title at the world championships in October will be the top priority this year, he said.

"It is going to be difficult. I couldn't defend my title in 1995 and 2002 and that's something I've always wanted to do," said the Sports Excellence Scholarship holder, who retained his Scottish Open and Irish Open crowns earlier this year.

"I haven't lost this year, yet, and I hope to stay unbeaten this year."

"There's tremendous support for me now and I have a lot of confidence, and I can blame no one but myself if I don't do well."

STERLING YEAR

Swimmer Schooling is also in the race after a sterling year - the 18-year-old butterfly specialist rewrote four individual national records in 2013 and was part of three quartets that set new national marks.

The Florida-based swimmer, who will finish preparatory school at Bolles School at the end of the month, was 10th in the 200m fly and 16th in the 200m individual medley at the world championships in Barcelona last August.

Schooling, who will enrol in the University of Texas this year, won the Sportsman of the Year crown in 2012.

The award was not handed out last year as the awards committee felt there was no deserving winner.

Bowler Shayna Ng will be up against table tennis star Feng Tianwei for the Sportswoman of the Year award.

Feng, currently ranked world No. 7 in the women's singles, is a two-time winner of the award and the incumbent.

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