Danish legend Erland Kops, winner of a then-unprecedented seven All England singles titles, was honoured by Badminton Europe on Sunday, becoming the first entrant to its Hall of Fame.
Kops was among those recognised at Badminton Europe’s first Player Awards that were awarded at a gala in Sheraton Hotel, Bratislava, Slovakia. The BEC Player Awards were meant to recognise the achievements and contributions of players to European badminton. Kops was the most dominant player of the 1960s, winning tournaments in Europe and Asia with equal ease. He was equally accomplished as a doubles player, winning four All England doubles titles out of a total of seven finals.
Quite remarkably, he reached the finals playing with three different partners, of which he was most successful with Henning Borch, with whom he won three straight titles. The 1960s was thus the era of Erland Kops, as he also figured in eight singles finals at the All England. After losing to Eddy Choong in the 1957 final, he was nearly unbeatable over the next decade, winning all seven finals he figured in.
For the inaugural awards, players were judged by their performances during the previous year. More than 10,000 people from all over the world voted via Badminton Europe’s website (www.badmintoneurope.com) or the official Facebook page. Additionally, every national coach of the 51 member associations of Badminton Europe had a vote which was multiplied five times.
The Danish men’s doubles team of Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe won the Best Male Player of the Year 2012, while Germany’s Juliane Schenk won the Best Female Player of the Year. Boe and Mogensen won the silver medal at the London Olympics, while Schenk consistently reached the semifinals and finals of several major tournaments and ended the year in the top 5.
Spain’s Carolina Marin won the Best Young Player of the Year 2012.Published 21 Apr 2013, 23:09 IST