Year-End Honours for Seo Seung Jae, An Se Young

Korea scored big at the annual Player of the Year 2023 awards ceremony today, with Seo Seung Jae and An Se Young winning the Male and Female Player of the Year awards respectively.

Seo excelled in both his doubles categories (men’s doubles with Kang Min Hyuk and mixed doubles with Chae Yu Jung), becoming the first male double titlist at the BWF World Championships since 1999. Seo also won four HSBC BWF World Tour titles in the assessment period (1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023).

“It’s a great honour to have this award,” said Seo.

.Seo Seung Jae received the award from CBA President Zhang Jun

“It’s not my achievement alone, this is due to the contribution of my partners too. Earlier, I had never performed well on the big stage as I would lose before the semifinals or finals, but I thank my fans for standing by me and I’ll continue to do my best.”

An Se Young was nearly unstoppable, winning 11 titles in the assessment period – including a run of five consecutive titles which included the HSBC BWF World Championships 2023 and the Asian Games gold.

“It’s a very happy day for me,” said An. “It’s been a tiring year. It’s a perfect ending for this year, it couldn’t have been better. I’m still young and I’m hope I can keep achieving more.”

While Seo was selected by the BWF Awards Commission ahead of fellow-nominees Viktor Axelsen and world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn, An Se Young got the nod over Chen Yu Fei and Akane Yamaguchi.

China won awards in three categories. Women’s doubles world No.1 Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan, who dominated the 2023 season with seven titles including the World Championships and the Asian Games, were named for the ‘Pair of the Year’ honour ahead of India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, China’s Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong and mixed doubles world champions Seo Seung Jae/Chae Yu Jung.

“I’m very happy to get this award, this will motivate us to keep doing well,” said Jia. “We’ve done well in various events this year, but it was our performance in the team events that really stood out in our memory.”

Two emerging Chinese pairs received recognition in separate categories. Mixed doubles duo Jiang Zhen Bang/Wei Ya Xin climbed to No.6 in the World Rankings in their first season on the HSBC BWF World Tour and were named ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’. The other nominees in this category were Malaysia’s Chen Tang Jie/Toh Ee Wei and Denmark’s Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

“We’re very excited,” said Wei Ya Xin. “We thought the Danish pair (Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen) would win this award, so we’re very happy we did. This is a special occasion and I chose the Chinese-theme clothes for both of us today.”

Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning, also in their first season on the elite circuit, broke into the top 10 of the World Rankings with four World Tour titles. The young pair received the ‘Eddy Choong Most Promising Player’ award.

“It was very unexpected, so we’re very happy to get this award. We owe this to our coaches who have motivated us to keep getting better,” said Liu Sheng Shu.

The season’s best Para badminton achievers will be recognised early next year at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships 20-25 February 2024.

There were also awards for the best dressed male and female player at the Gala. Chen Tang Jie and Jongkolphan Kititharakul walked away with the respective prizes.

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