Booij and Park claim WorldHockey Player of the Year Awards
Dutch captain Minke Booij claimed the WorldHockey Player of the Year award 2006. The Dutch defender, who captained her team to the World Cup win, received the award after winning the final against Australia here in Madrid, Spain on Sunday. Korean Mi Hyun Park was awarded as WorldHockey Women’s Young Player of the Year 2006.
The awards were presented by IOC Honorary President for life and FIH Honorary Member Juan Antonio Samaranch and FIH President and IOC Member Els van Breda Vriesman. The votes were cast by all players participating at the Samsung World Cup in Madrid.
It was the first WorldHockey Player of the Year award for the 29 years old Booij and the second time a Dutch player won the award after Mijntje Donners finished first in 2003. Booij, who won the award with 43 votes, took over the title from Argentine ace Luciana Aymar, winner of the 2001, 2004 and 2005 WorldHockey Player of the Year award. Aymar finished second with 38 votes, just five short of Booij. German Natascha Keller reached the third position.
For Booij, the final Sunday of the Samsung World Cup was the day of her life. Firstly, Booij was one of the main responsibles bringing the World Cup back to Netherlands. Just after the final she was crowned as WorldHockey Player of the Year 2006.
Despite finishing ninth in the Samsung World Cup, Korean Mi Hyun Park was awarded as WorldHockey Young Player of the Year 2006. The 20 years old Korean forward got 23 votes and just finished in front of Spanish Esther Termens and Dutch Naomi van As. The award is presented to the outstanding player under the age of 23.
Some weeks earlier, Dutch Teun de Nooijer created history when he was named the WorldHockey Men’s Player of the Year for a record third time. German star Christopher Zeller was named the WorldHockey Men’s Young Player of the Year on the occasion of the BDO Men’s World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany played mid-September.