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Constance Lien named The Straits Times Athlete of the Year

Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) exponent Constance Lien was named The Straits Times Athlete of the Year yesterday.

Last year, the 20-year-old became the first Singaporean to be crowned blue belt featherweight BJJ world champion and SEA Games jiu-jitsu gold medallist.

Lien beat four other worthy nominees: billiards world champion Peter Gilchrist; Jonathan Chan, the first Singaporean diver to qualify for the Olympics; Yip Pin Xiu, a two-gold winner at the World Para Swimming Championships; and Cherie Tan, the first Singaporean to win the Masters title at the World Bowling Women's Championships and the first Asian to bag the Professional Women's Bowling Association Players Championship.

ST sports editor Lee Yulin, who headed a panel of seven judges, said: "The panel of judges had to consider no fewer than four world champions in the field. But when we looked at who proved most inspiring, Constance just edged it."

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