Asila Mirzayorova and Peng Zheng, Best Athletes at the Asian Awards. ©  Asian Paralympic Committee

Asila Mirzayorova and Peng Zheng were announced as the Best Female and Best Male Athletes at the fourth edition of the Asian Awards in a ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the Asian Paralympic Committee’s Conference and General Assembly.

Sheetal Devi from India, the 'armless archer' who gained fame after her performances in Hangzhou, received the award for Best Youth Athlete.

Six categories were highlighted: Best Male Athlete, Best Female Athlete, Best Youth Athlete, Best Team Performance, Best Photography, and Exemplary Asian Official.

Mirzayorova is a long jumper and the reigning world champion in the T11 category after winning gold in Paris earlier this year. At the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games, she secured gold in the long jump but also competed in the 200m and 400m, winning bronze in each event.

"I am very happy today. I wasn't expecting to receive this honour; this is one of my biggest achievements so far. My biggest goal is to win the gold medal at the Paralympics," said the 24-year-old visually impaired athlete.

In addition to his historic first gold medal, Peng Zheng won another gold and two silver medals at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, making him China's most decorated Winter Paralympian.

Devi added: "I am very happy to receive this award. It is a great honour to be named the best in Asia. I hope I can continue winning more medals for my nation. I am training hard to get a medal for India at the Paralympics."

The Best Team Performance award went to Iran's Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team following their bronze medal at the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in July, making them the first Asian NPC to reach the podium in 14 editions of the championships.

The Best Photography Award went to Masamine Kawaguchi from Japan for his images from the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, which captured the dynamism, skill, and speed of the downhill skiers.

The final award for Exemplary Asian Official went to Mr. Young-ju Lee from the Republic of Korea, who is the coach of the Korean Para Cycling Team. Under his leadership, they won 8 medals, including four golds at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games.

Asian Order for six recipients

The Asian Order was presented to six recipients for their contribution to the Paralympic Movement in Asia. Shaikh Mohamed Duaij Al Khalifa, President of NPC Bahrain, Mr. Manabu Aso from Japan, Mr. Mukhtorkhon Tashkhodjaev, President of NPC Uzbekistan, and the Executive Secretary-General of HAPGOC, Mr. Chen Weiqiang.

Two additional Asian Orders were presented to Mr. Jung Jin Owan from the Republic of Korea and Mr. Yasushi Yamawaki from Japan, both of whom had been awarded the Paralympic Order by the IPC.

A final Award of Appreciation was given to NPC KSA President, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, President of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee for all of his efforts in promoting the Paralympic Movement in Saudi Arabia and across Asia.