Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has listed Malaysia’s World No. 1 badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei and World No. 1 men’s doubles pair Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong as the finalists for Male Badminton Player of the Year award.
Four other male players that made the BWF list were China’s Olympic champion – Chen Long, Denmark’s top finisher in the Destination Dubai rankings – Jan Jorgensen, and the Rio Olympic men’s doubles gold medalists – Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan of China.
Lee Chong Wei who won his third consecutive Olympic silver medal in Rio, remained the frontrunner to win the player of the year award. In addition to the Olympic silver medal, Lee also won the Malaysia Open, Indonesia Open, Japan Open and the Asian Games.
Chen Long of China also made himself a strong candidate for the award after he was crowned the Olympic champion in August, coupled with second-place finishes at the Malaysia and China Open.
There’s also a good chance for Goh/Tan who caught the badminton world by surprise by winning the Olympic men’s doubles silver medal in August to take home the award.
The Female Player of the Year finalists were divided between singles players and doubles pairs, with Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon (singles), Nozomi Okuhara of Japan (singles), Olympic gold medalists – Masaki Matsumoto/Ayaka Takahashi of Japan (doubles) and Olympic silver medalists – Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark (doubles) battling for the award.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s 2015 World Junior Champion Goh Jin Wei became the only non-Chinese player who was nominated for the Most Promising Player of the Year (Eddy Choong Award), together with He Bingjiao, Chen Qingchen and Men’s Doubles duo, Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen of China.