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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty nominated for BWF ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’ award

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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319   //    09 Dec 2018, 15:40 IST

Chirag Shetty (left) and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy
Chirag Shetty (left) and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

India’s ever-improving men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty find themselves on the list as the nominations for the BWF Player of the Year awards were announced recently. The India No. 1 pair is in contention with four other competitors for the ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’ award.

The other nominees in this particular category are Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (Men’s Singles), China’s He Jiting (Men’s and Mixed Doubles), Japan’s Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara (Women’s Doubles), and Korea’s Seo Seong Jae (Men’s and Mixed Doubles).

This is the second time in his fledgeling career that the 18-year-old Rankireddy is vying for one of the prestigious BWF awards. Last year, he was nominated for the ‘Most Promising Player of the Year’ award even though he eventually lost it to former junior world champion Chen Yufei.

This year he hopes to be lucky after a string of good results, especially in the end part of the season. The 18th ranked Rankireddy and Shetty tasted glory at the Hyderabad Open, besides finishing as the runners-up at the Commonwealth Games and the Syed Modi International.

They also made it to the semi-finals of the French Open and the Indonesia Masters, apart from a quarter-final appearance at the Fuzhou China Open.

Indian shuttlers have won a couple of awards the last two years at the BWF Gala Night. PV Sindhu’s historic run to the Olympic silver medal at Rio was recognized in 2016 where she was bestowed upon the ‘Most Improved Player’ award.

In 2017, Kidambi Srikanth was adjudged the ‘Best Dressed Male Player’, even as he failed to win in the ‘Male Player of the Year’ category, despite winning a stunning four Superseries titles.

This year, both the World No. 1s Kento Momota and Tai Tzu Ying are running for the ‘Player of the Year’ awards in male and female categories respectively.

The Awards Night will be held in Guangzhou on Monday, December 10 two days before the action starts at the BWF World Tour Finals.


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