Double celebration for Van Doren at Hockey Star Awards
Berlin, Feb 6 (PTI) It was a double celebration for Belgium's Arthur Van Doren after he was named as Male Player of the Year as well as Rising Star of the Year at the FIH's 2017 Hockey Star Awards, here.
In fact, Van Doren won the Rising Star of the Year award for the second year in a row.
Argentina's Delfina Merino was voted as 2017 Female Player of the Year.
The winners, the sport's top performers from last year, were revealed by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) at a glitzy event at Stilwerk Berlin last night.
Van Doren was not the only star to build on last year's success. Argentina's Maria Jose Granatto won the Female Rising Star of the Year for the second consecutive year after picking up the same award in India just over 12 months ago.
England and Great Britain's Maddie Hinch was another to secure back-to-back success as she was named Female Goalkeeper of the Year while Vincent Vanasch added to Belgium's awards after he was voted as Male Goalkeeper of the Year.
Incidentally, no Indian has been nominated for the awards this year.
In addition to the athletes, awards were given to the best coaches of 2017.
Australian legend Alyson Annan won Female Coach of the Year as she led the Netherlands to both the Hockey World League and Rabobank EuroHockey Championship titles.
The Male Coach of the Year was shared by Argentina's Max Caldas and New Zealand's Shane McLeod.
While Caldas steered Netherlands men to the Rabobank EuroHockey Championship trophy, McLeod guided Belgium to a triumphant victory at the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg.
The world's top officials were also recognised.
Sarah Wilson from Scotland was voted by her peers as Female Umpire of the Year and South Africa's John Wright, who retired after the Hockey World League Semi-Final in his homeland, won Male Umpire of the Year award.
Whilst the coach and umpire awards were a result of a peer vote - the player, rising Star and goalkeeper awards consisted of both a peer vote, which included fellow players and coaches, as well as a fan vote in which over 100,000 votes were received through the FIH website.
Speaking about this year's awards, FIH President Narinder Dhruv Batra said: "Tonight's winners should feel incredibly proud of their achievements.
"Being named as the best in the world by peers and fans is the result of years of hard work, determination and sacrifice - attributes that have driven them to the top of the game