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Saina in contention for BWF Player of the Year award

BADMINTON-GBR-THA-IND

World no. 2 Saina Nehwal of India is among five players nominated for the Female Player of the Year by the Badminton World Federation.

Saina is the only non-Chinese contender in the category. The Indian, who won the Olympic bronze last year, faces stiff competition from the likes of Li Xuerui, Wang Yihan and the women’s doubles pair of Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei. While Xuerui swept most of the singles titles last season, Zhao Yunlei won two doubles gold medals at the Olympic. Wang Yihan was the Olympic silver medallist.

Among those nominated for the Male Player of the Year for 2012 are two-time Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan (China), his long-time rival Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia); Chen Long (China); men’s doubles Olympic gold medallists Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng (China) and Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung (Korea), who won the men’s doubles bronze medal at London 2012.

Should a pair win either of these categories, they will share the annual award.

The nominees for the Most Promising Player of the Year are: Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei); Viktor Axelsen (Denmark); Kento Momota (Junior World champion – Men; Japan); Nozomi Okuhara (Junior World champion – Women; Japan); Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) and Busnan Ongbumrungpan (Thailand).

The criteria for nomination are: Exceptional and consistent performance across a calendar year, performance at the Olympics, BWF events and Superseries events, being a good role model for the sport which goes beyond on-court performance, and being ranked among the top five in the world in the year of nomination.

The 2012 choices for these awards will be made by the BWF Council. The announcement of the winners and the presentation of prizes will take place at a gala dinner in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 18 May, 2013 following the BWF annual general meeting.

The BWF has announced other awardees:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Heather Robson (NZL)

Hall of Fame: Ha Tae Kwon (Kor); Gong Zhichao (Chn)

Distinguished Service Award: Joao Matos (POR)

Meritorious Service Award: Luis Manoel da Fonseca Barreto (BRA); John C Briggs (ENG); Abby Kumar  (ENG); Anton Gonadi  (INA); Koesdarto Pramono (INA); Iriansyah Busra (INA); Hsu Show Hoo (HKB); Chau Man Tuan (HKG); Linda Alvarez (GIB); Barabash Mykola (UKR); Chua Soo Hock (MAS)

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