H.S. Prannoy - the hero of India’s historic Thomas Cup win - has been nominated for the BWF’s ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’ award.
The Badminton World Federation, on Monday, released the complete list of nominated players for its eight awards.
World no. 12 Prannoy enjoyed a stellar 2022, during which he guided India to its maiden Thomas Cup team championship title in Bangkok in May. No player could knock Prannoy out of the qualification zone after the French Open quarterfinals.
In the Thomas Cup semifinal, he registered a memorable win over Denmark’s Rasmussen Gemke to catapult India into the final. Playing with an ankle injury, Prannoy went down 13-21 in the first game and then outplayed Gemke 21-9, 21-12.
Throughout the year, he also pulled off several upsets, beating Anthony Ginting, Lakshya Sen, Ng Ka Long Angus, Chou Tien Chen, Kento Momota, Loh Kean Yew, Zhao Jun Peng and Liew Daren.
Prannoy has also qualified for his maiden BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok from December 7 to 11.
Aside from Prannoy, World Para-Badminton Championships gold medallists Pramod Bhagat and Manisha Ramadass and bronze medallists Manasi Joshi and Nithya Sre Sumathy have been nominated for the awards.
Prannoy is the only men’s singles player nominated for the ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’ award. He will face tough competition from women’s doubles pair Jeong Na Eun-Kim Hye Jeong, who won the Korea Open and Japan Open in 2022.
Indonesia men’s doubles pair of Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto has also been nominated for the prestigious award. Fajar and Ardianto won four titles on the World Tour - Denmark Open, Malaysia Masters, Indonesia Masters and Swiss Open - to be ranked third on the BWF World Rankings for men’s doubles.
The annual awards ceremony will be held on December 5 in conjunction with the BWF World Tour Finals 2022 gala dinner.