Dubai: Chen Long of China and Carolina Marin of Spain took home the Player of the Year Awards at the players’ reception and gala dinner for the Dubai World Superseries Finals at the Al Badia Golf Club on Monday evening.
Both Chen and Marin received a timely boost as they bid to end the season on a high at the Superseries, which kicks off on Wednesday at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.
China’s rising star and World Junior Champion in Mixed Doubles and Men’s Doubles, Zheng Si Wei, won the Eddy Choong Award for Most Promising Player of the Year, and for the first time, BWF honoured para-badminton players with the year-end awards.
Korea’s Lee Sam Seop was named Male Para-Badminton Player of the Year, while Helle Sofie Sagoy was honoured with the Female Para-Badminton Player of the Year award.
Lee, who took up badminton after he suffered an accident, said “I’m honoured to receive this award. I was emotional when I won it because this was the first such award for para-badminton.”
Over the last two years, Chen has emerged as the most consistent men’s singles player in the world.
After a successful 2014, Chen continued to blaze a trail this year, winning five World Superseries titles and defending his BWF World Championships crown. He also helped China win the Sudirman Cup. These accomplishments helped him edge past the other nominees: compatriot Zhang Nan, and Korea’s Lee Yong Dae to retain the award he won last year.
Marin was in contention for the award along with China’s Zhao Yunlei and Bao Yixin and India’s Saina Nehwal. The Spaniard started and ended the year on a perfect note — winning the All England in March and the Hong Kong Open in November. In between, she picked up three other World Superseries titles and retained her World Championships gold medal.
A delighted Marin admitted she had not expected to win the award.
“I thought Zhao would win it because she’s had a great year as well,” she said. “I’m very happy, because it’s affirming that you did something great during the year.”
With players turning out stylishly dressed for the gala, awards for the best dressed male and female were also announced. Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien and Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon walked away with the honours.