Zii Jia, Aaron-Wooi Yik among nominees for BWF awards

Men’s doubles world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and world number two men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia (picture) are among the players nominated for the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Player of the Year awards for 2022.

The BWF said in a statement today that Olympic and world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, Singapore’s 2021 world champion Loh Kean Yew and 2022 Asian champion Zii Jia are the three nominees for Male Player of the Year.

World number two An Se Young (South Korea), 2021 and 2022 world champion Akane Yamaguchi (Japan) and world number four Tai Tzu Ying (Taiwan) are the nominees for the Female Player of the Year award. 

Aaron-Wooi Yik, crowned world champions in August, will vie for the Pair of the Year award with women’s doubles world champions Chen Qing Chen-Jia Yi Fan (China), 2021 mixed doubles world champions Dechapol Puavaranukroh- Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Thailand) and reigning mixed doubles world champions Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong (China).

The Most Improved Player of the Year award will also have four contenders – India’s Thomas Cup hero H.S. Prannoy, Japan Open champions Jeong Na Eun-Kim Hye Jeong (South Korea) and four-time winners on the circuit this year Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto (Indonesia).

In the para badminton, reigning world and Paralympic champion in the men’s singles SU5 category (physical impairment) Cheah Liek Hou is among six nominees vying for the Male Para Badminton Player of the Year award. The others are Daiki Kajiwara (Japan), Pramod Bhagat (India), Lucas Mazur (France), Chu Man Kai (Hong Kong) and Choi Jung Man (South Korea).

National men’s WH1-WH2 (wheelchair) doubles world championships silver medallist Muhammad Ikhwan Ramli-Noor Azwan Noorlan have been nominated for the Para Badminton Pair of the Year award with five other pairs.

BWF also said that Alex Lanier (France), Kodai Naraoka (Japan) and Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto-Lisa Ayu Kusumawati (Indonesia) are the contenders for the Eddy Choong Most Promising Player of the Year Award.

The awards ceremony will be held on Monday (Dec 5) in conjunction with the BWF World Tour Finals 2022 gala dinner in Bangkok, Thailand.

“Nominees were selected based on performances in the 2021/2022 season from Nov 1, 2021, to Oct 31, 2022, and recognises achievements of our elite badminton and para badminton players and pairs in eight categories.

“In para badminton, the BWF Awards Commission gave special allowance for the BWF Para Badminton World Championships 2022, which concluded on Nov 6, to be included in the list of eligible tournaments,” the BWF said. — BERNAMA