BWF awards: Lee Chong Wei, Li Xuerui take home top honours
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS): Malaysian World No. 1 men's singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei won the coveted Badminton World Federation's (BWF) Male Player of the Year award at its annual Gala Awards Dinner here.
The two-time Olympic silver medallist led his team into the Thomas Cup final after defeating Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto to give his country a vital 1-0 lead which his team converted into a 3-0 victory at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here Friday.
The 31-year-old, who won seven Super Series titles last year, withstood competition from China's Lin Dan and Chen Long, Indonesian duo Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan and Ko Sung Hyun and Lee Yong Dae of South Korea to win the award.
Meanwhile, Chinese women's singles player Li Xuerui captured the Female Player of the Year award after retaining the 2013 Super Series Final crown she won in 2012 to go nicely with the World No. 1 ranking she held throughout last year.
She was runner-up to Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon at the World Championships but went a step better at the Super Series Premier events, winning the Indonesia Open and the China Open.
Xuerui beat Intanon as well as compatriots Yihan Wang and women's doubles World Champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang Friday for the coveted award. To add to that, defending champions China also won their 13th Uber Cup beating Japan 3-1 Saturday.
Japan's Akane Yamaguchi won the Promising Player of the Year award. The 16-year-old wrested the 2013 World Junior title and retained it in April this year. She also clinched the Japan Open last season, ousting a number of top players en route to glory on home soil.
Others in the reckoning for the award were Aya Ohori (Japan) and Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Thailand). Men's Singles World Junior winner Heo Kwang Hee of South Korea and runner-up Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei also made the list.