Olympic and world champion Viktor Axelsen has been bestowed with the BWF Male Player of the Year, while Akane Yamaguchi bagged Female Player of the Year honour. India’s para-shuttler Manisha Ramadass has been adjudged the Female Para-Badminton Player of the Year.
BWF hosted a gala dinner in Bangkok on Monday to confer the awards on the players ahead of the World Tour Finals, which will be held in the Thai capital on December 7-11.
Axelsen won nine titles during the eligibility period (from November 1, 2021, to October 31, 2022), including his second World Championships crown.
Manisha, a Side Upper 5 (SU5) para shuttler, has been rewarded for having a fantastic season. She won 11 gold, including the Para-Badminton World Championships SU5 women’s singles title, and five bronze medals. She won the honour ahead of compatriots Nithya Sre Sumathy and Manasi Joshi.
Meanwhile, Akane Yamaguchi, who won two consecutive World Championships gold medals during the eligibility period, put behind An Se Young and Tai Tzu Ying to win the BWF Female Player of the Year award.
Rising Japanese men’s singles specialist Kodai Naraoka, who had a meteoric rise in 2022, has been conferred with the Eddy Choong Most Promising Player of the Year. Naraoka, 21, clinched the Vietnam Open Super 100 title and made four finals.
H.S. Prannoy, who was nominated for the Most Improved Player of the Year award, has been edged by Indonesian men’s doubles pair Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Ardianto. The duo won four titles on the World Tour and finished runner-up in four others.