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Badminton: Chen, Zhao, Yamaguchi honoured with BWF awards

Doubles star Zhao Yunlei, World No. 2 Chen Long and Japanese teenager Akane Yamaguchi were named Female Player, Male Player and Most Promising Player of the Year.

Doubles star Zhao Yunlei, World No. 2 Chen Long and Japanese teenager Akane Yamaguchi were named Female Player, Male Player and Most Promising Player of the Year.

December 17, 2014: World No. 2 Chen Long, doubles star Zhao Yunlei and Japanese teenager Akane Yamaguchi were honoured with BWF Player of the Year awards at the Players’ Reception and Gala Dinner in Dubai.

 

Chen, who claimed his first World Championships title this year, won the Male Player of the Year, Chinese compatriot Zhao Yunlei was named Female Player of the Year and Yamaguchi, 17, retained her Most Promising Player of the Year award.

 

Chen, 25, started the year by winning the Korea Open and finishing runner-up at the All England and India Open. He then stormed to his first BWF World Championships title and followed that up with a victory at the Denmark Open. He also reached the finals in the Asian Games and Hong Kong Open. Other nominees included compatriots Lin Dan and Zhang Nan, and Korea’s Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeong-seong.

 

“I’m very happy to win this award,” Chen said. “My results are due to the team’s effort, so I owe thanks to the Chinese badminton team. I just have to focus on playing each tournament.”

 

Zhao won women’s and mixed doubles golds at the 2012 London Olympics with Tian Qing and Zhang Nan respectively, and in this year’s Superseries won three women’s doubles titles and four mixed with the same partners. Zhao also won both doubles titles at this year’s World Championships and at the Asian Games for the second time.

 

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” said Zhao, who contended for the award with compatriots Li Xuerui, Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan, and Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen. “I have worked hard for many years. This award will be great motivation for me for future tournaments.”

 

The soft-spoken Yamaguchi received her award dressed in her school uniform after a year that included her second straight World Junior Championships title, an Asian Junior Championships win and a runner-up finish behind Saina Nehwal at the China Open, a Superseries Premier event.

 

The 17-year-old was also one of eight women’s singles players to qualify for the ongoing Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals. Chinese trio Lin Guipu, Chen Qingchen and He Bingjiao, and Indonesia’s Rosyita Eka Putri Sari were other contenders in the Most Promising category.

 

 

Source: BWF (www.bwfbadminton.org); Editing by SportAsia

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