Region's top health and fitness performers honoured at 2018 FIT Awards

David Cooper 9/12/2018
The FIT Awards winners

Top performers from the region’s health and fitness industry gathered for the 2018 Fit Awards, held at the Movenpick Hotel, JBR.

The prestigious event, now in its fifth year, is organised by Sport360 and in partnership with Skechers Performance, USA Poultry & Egg and Illinois Soybean Association.

Take a look at the pictures above from the evening.

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International Sports Awards of the Year: Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid and Rashid Khan

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Roger Federer showed there is still life in the champion tennis player.

2017 was a year when enduring legends restated their class, slapping down a host of brash young challengers and showing that age was just a number.

Whether it was a pair of 36-year-old tennis legends re-discovering their best form or a century old football club re-born under a new manager and sweeping all before them.

But the year was not just dominated by experienced masters as one precocious young leg spinner from Afghanistan showed.

Here are our picks for the International Sports Awards of 2017.

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

Roger Federer

With an illustrious career already behind him, most pundits believed they had seen the best of the 36-year-old, but then they don’t know FedEx.

After taking half of 2016 off to heal from a serious knee injury the Swiss Master surprised everyone but himself by winning the Australian Open in January, then followed that up with his eighth Wimbledon title.

By the end of the year he had won the most number of grand slams since 2009, most titles since 2007, and had his highest win percentage since 2006.

Form may be temporary but Federer is permanent.

Federer won two Grand Slam titles in 2017 to take the award.

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR

Serena Williams

After starting the season with an underwhelming performance in Auckland, Williams showed her true form by winning the Australian Open for a record seventh time.

It was her 23rd Grand Slam singles title, surpassing Steffi Graf’s record of 22 – and she was eight weeks pregnant at the time.

Williams won a record seventh Australian Open crown.

INTERNATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR

Real Madrid

With a team comprising some of the most high-profile (and most well paid players in the world) managing gigantic egos is a daily challenge.

Even more credit then to Los Blancos for putting aside those egos and working towards the good of the team.

When you have this much talent, and the team are willing to work hard for each other as well, then prizes must surely follow – and follow they did.

Five trophies came in 2017, including back-to-back Champions Leagues, La Liga (first since 2011-12), the Supercopa de Espana, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup claimed in the UAE last month.

The best, by some margin.

The Los Blancos swept up the trophies in 2017.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Zinedine Zidane

With five trophies in just one year it had to be Zizou. Taking over after the underwhelming Rafa Benitez era, Zidane stepped up from the Real reserve team to one of the most high pressure coaching jobs in the world.

He quickly transformed the mis-firing Merengues from a team of superstars to a superstar team and the accolades, and cups, followed.

Zidane led Real Madrid to five trophies in 2017.

INTERNATIONAL YOUNGSTER OF THE YEAR

Rashid Khan

At just 19, the young Afghan leggie stunned the cricketing world in June when he took seven wickets for 18 runs in an ODI against the West Indies.

It was the fourth-best ODI bowling figures of all-time and he became the first player from an associate nation to take seven wickets.

He’s already played in the IPL and is set for a top career for the next decade.

The Afghan teenager's stock continues to grow in international cricket.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Venus Williams

The older Williams sister reached the final of two Grand Slams and returned to the WTA Finals for the first time since 2010.

Kylian Mbappe

The 19-year-old was exceptional for Monaco as they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and won Ligue 1.

British & Irish Lions

The best of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales trekked to New Zealand to try and achieve the impossible. They almost did it and played some great rugby along the way

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Regional Sports Awards of the Year: Mohamed Salah, Farida Osman, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Henk Ten Cate, Rayhan Thomas

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Salah has been the standout regional sportsman in 2017.

Every year there are some exceptional regional team and individual displays, and 2017 was no different.

From football to golf to swimming, headlines have been created with their achievements filling up countless column inches of this newspaper.

For Egyptians, it’s been a memorable 12 months with their national side qualifying for their first World Cup since 1990, while Farida Osman put the country on the map in the pool.

UAE rugby side Abu Dhabi Harlequins enjoyed an exceptional year, wrapping up all five domestic titles, while Henk Ten Cate used all his experience to bring success to Al Jazira.

Golfer Rayhan Thomas had a year to remember while the likes of Chirag Suri, Amna Al Qubaisi, Ed Jones and Achraf Hakimi deserve praise for their fine feats. Here are the Sport360° Regional Sports Award winners for 2017…

SPORTSMAN ON THE YEAR

Mohamed Salah

Since arriving at Liverpool in the summer, the Egyptian forward has been a revelation. His blistering pace and eye in front of goal, has already seen him score 21 goals in all competitions and we have not even reached the new year yet. More memorably, he kept his cool to hit the decisive penalty that sent Egypt to next year’s World Cup – his fifth goal for the Pharaohs in the qualifers.

Salah has impressed for both club and country.

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR

Farida Osman

Became the first Egyptian – man or woman – to win a medal at a World Aquatic Championships, claiming bronze in the 50m butterfly in Budapest last summer, her 25.39 seconds swim smashing the African record. Earlier, Osman won her first-ever individual NCAA title for Cal Berkeley, becoming the third-fastest swimmer in history in the 100-metre butterfly with 50.05 seconds.

Farida Osman has been creating waves in the swimming world.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Abu Dhabi Harlequins

The best year in their history, the best year arguably in any UAE sports team’s history. An unprecedented five trophies were lifted by Mike McFarlane’s dominant side as they steamrollered all before them – the West Asia Premiership, West Asia Cup and UAE Premiership all earned in 2017. To put their achievement in context, Real Madrid have just won five trophies in 2017 – something even one of the most successful sides in club football history had never done in a calendar year.

The Harlequins won five trophies in 2017.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Henk Ten Cate

The Dutchman showed why he held assistant roles at Barcelona and Chelsea by masterminding Al Jazira to their second-ever league triumph. He admitted he didn’t have the best players but he did have the best team, and that showed as his side came through two stern matches to face Real Madrid in the Club World Cup semi-final, before finishing fourth – the best ever position by a UAE side.

Henk Ten Cate has worked wonders with Al Jazira.

REGIONAL YOUNGSTER

Rayhan Thomas

A year that saw him make the cut at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the Dubai-based prodigy rewrote history by becoming the first Indian to reach the semi-finals of the US Junior Amateurs. As top seed, he was also part of the International side that lost to the US at the Junior President’s Cup and also shot a world record-equalling nine birdies in a row on the MENA Tour.

It has been a great year for Rayhan Thomas.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Amna Al Qubaisi

Not only did she become the first Emirati girl to win the Rotax Max Challenge, but also she won a seat in Formula 4 next year with the Prema team.

Chirag Suri

Was part of Gujarat Lions’ squad in the IPL, becoming the first UAE cricketer to do so. Didn’t play but his skills saw him break into the senior team.

Achraf Hakimi

The 19-year-old rightback finally made his Real Madrid first team debut, scoring once in his four caps, as well as opening his account for Morocco.

Ed Jones

Dubai-born star had a debut to remember, producing a stunning rookie performance to finish third in the Indy 500 for Dale Coyne Racing.

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