29 Nov : ARGENTINA’S Luciana Aymar and Spain’s Pol Amat were crowned as WorldHockey Players of the Year 2008 in Los Angeles, USA on Friday. Both hockey stars received their awards during a special ceremony on the occasion of the FIH Congress Dinner at Universal Studios in the Californian city, according to International Hockey Federation (FIH) press release.
Dutch Maartje Paumen and Australian Eddie Ockenden received the WorldHockey Young Player of the Year 2008 awards. All four hockey stars were present in Los Angeles to receive their awards.
The awards were presented by FIH President Els van Breda Vriesman during the special ‘Emmy Awards’ type of show. All players who participated at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing last August were able to vote for their favourite.
Aymar grabbed her fifth WorldHockey Player of the Year award after she won the title in 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2007. The 31- year old bronze medallist of the Beijing Olympics was excited with being the best player in the world again.
Amat became the first Spaniard to win the WorldHockey Player of the Year Award. For the silver medalist from Beijing it is the recognition for all the years he was among the best hockey players in the world. Amat took over the title from Australian Jamie Dwyer, who was again one of the nominees for the award this year.
Dutch striker Maartje Paumen was awarded as women’s WorldHockey Young Player of the Year. For Paumen this was the icing on the cake of a year she could only dream of. Paumen won with Netherlands the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics and became the top scorer of the tournament with 11 goals, a record in Olympic history.
Australian Eddie Ockenden took over the title of men’s WorldHockey Young Player of the Year from his teammate Mark Knowles. Ockenden proved to be in excellent form both at the Olympic Games and the WorldHockey Champions Trophy in 2008.
Past winners WorldHockey Player of the Year Award:
Men: 1998 Stephan Veen (NED), 1999 Jay Stacy (AUS), 2000 Stephan Veen (NED), 2001 Florian Kunz (GER), 2002 Michael Green (GER), 2003 Teun de Nooijer (NED), 2004 Jamie Dwyer (AUS), 2005 Teun de Nooijer (NED), 2006 Teun de Nooijer (NED), 2007 Jamie Dwyer (AUS), 2008 Pol Amat (ESP).
Women: 1998 Alyson Annan (AUS), 1999 Natascha Keller (GER), 2000 Alyson Annan (AUS), 2001 Luciana Aymar (ARG), 2002 Cecilia Rognoni (ARG), 2003 Mijntje Donners (NED), 2004 Luciana Aymar(ARG), 2005 Luciana Aymar (ARG), 2006 Minke Booij (NED), 2007 Luciana Aymar (ARG), 2008 Luciana Aymar (ARG).
Young Men: 2001 Tibor Weissenborn (GER), 2002 Jamie Dwyer (AUS), 2003 Grant Schubert (AUS), 2004 Santi Freixa (ESP), 2005 Robert van der Horst (NED),
2006 Christopher Zeller (GER), 2007 Mark Knowles (AUS), 2008 Eddie Ockenden (AUS).
Young Women: 2001 Angie Skirving (AUS), 2002 Soledad Garcia (ARG), 2003 Maartje Scheepstra (NED), 2004 Soledad Garcia (ARG), 2005 Maartje Goderie (NED), 2006 Mi Hyun Park (KOR), 2007 Maike Stockel (GER), 2008 Maartje Paumen (NED).