The world No 1 men’s doubles pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia on Monday won their second successive BWF Male Player of the Year award.
Asian Games gold medallists Gideon and Sukamuljo participated in 11 BWF World Tour tournaments in 2018, winning eight of the nine finals they reached. Their win-loss record for the season is 49-3.
The Indonesians won the award over singles world champion Kento Momota of Japan and Chinese mixed doubles player Zheng Siwei.
“It’s a great honour to win this award for the second straight time,” Sukamuljo was quoted as saying. “It’s an inspiration for us to keep working hard. We did well all through the season but I would say our highlight was winning the Asian Games gold.”
China’s mixed doubles player Huang Yaqiong picked up BWF Female Player of the Year award ahead of singles world No 1 Tai Tzu Ying and Japan’s women’s doubles pairing of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota.
Huang and her mixed doubles partner Zheng Siwei had a stellar season, winning all five Super 750 titles on the BWF World Tour.
“I’m very excited,” Huang was quoted as saying. “Last year I was nominated but I missed it. This time I finally won this award and I feel really happy. My highlight this year must be the World Championships gold in Nanjing.”
The Most Improved Player of the Year award went to women’s doubles world champions Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara. India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were also nominated in this category.
Jack Shephard of England and Leani Ratri Oktila of Indonesia won the male and female Para badminton Player of the Year awards respectively, while China’s men’s doubles pairing of Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong won the Eddy Choong Most Promising Player of the Year title.
Winners in five of the award categories were chosen by the BWF Awards Commission from a list of nominees, while the Most Improved Player was a special direct award from the Commission.
The awards ceremony was a curtain raiser to the inaugural BWF World Tour Finals, which starts on Wednesday.