Bangkok, Thailand, December 5, 2022: Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi won the BWF Female Player of the Year at the Badminton World Federation Player of the Year Awards in Bangkok on Monday, December 5.
Yamaguchi achieved the rare honour of winning back-to-back World Championships titles within a nine-month period.
She also won two other titles – the YONEX All England Open 2022 and the DAIHATSU YONEX Japan Open 2022. The other contenders were An Se Young of Korea and Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
“It’s the first time receiving this award and I feel really honoured and happy,” said Yamaguchi.
Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen was named Male Player of the Year ahead of 2021 world champion Loh Kean Yew and Asian champion Lee Zee Jia.
Like Axelsen, China’s Zheng/Huang were nearly unbeatable in mixed doubles, with nine titles, and received the BWF Pair of the Year ahead of Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai, Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan and Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik.
The Chinese enjoyed a glorious winning streak of seven titles in succession, culminating with their third World Championships gold.
Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto’s superb consistency through 2022, when they made eight finals and won four, saw them named the BWF Most Improved Players of the Year. The Indonesians won the honour ahead of HS Prannoy and Jeong Na Eun/Kim Hye Jeong.
Japanese 21-year-old Kodai Naraoka, who had a meteoric rise in 2022, won the Eddy Choong Most Promising Player of the Year. Naraoka made four finals and won the Vietnam Open.
“Winning this award motivates me to reach a new level and win the next competition and become an international star in the coming years. I’ve been working on a lot of things this year and working hard, so this award makes me very happy,” said Naraoka.
The full list of winners:
BWF Male Player of the Year: Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)
BWF Female Player of the Year: Akane Yamaguchi (Japan)
BWF Pair of the Year: Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong (China)
BWF Most Improved Player of the Year: Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto (Indonesia)
Eddy Choong Most Promising Player of the Year: Kodai Naraoka (Japan)
BWF Male Para Badminton Player of the Year: Daiki Kajiwara (Japan)
BWF Female Para Badminton Player of the Year: Manisha Ramadass (India)
BWF Para Badminton Pair of the Year: Thomas Wandschneider/Rick Cornell Hellman (Germany)