China's Zheng/Huang named badminton Pair of Year

By Song Yu

BANGKOK, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's mixed doubles duo Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong have been announced as the Badminton World Federation's (BWF) Pair of the Year for their remarkable run this season.

Zheng and Huang were nearly unbeatable, claiming nine titles from Nov. 1, 2021 to Oct. 31, 2022.

"It means a lot to us to get this award for the first time," they told Xinhua, adding that the opponents in the upcoming BWF world tour finals are strong, and they expect to show their best game to meet the challenges ahead.

Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen and World Championship winner Akane Yamaguchi were named the Male and Female Player of the Year respectively.

This is the second consecutive year the Danish shuttler won the award, recognizing his outstanding achievements of world tour titles in the current season.

Axelsen told Xinhua that he was very satisfied with his performance and will focus all his energy on the finals.

Indonesia's Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto were named the Most Improved Players of the Year, while the 21-year-old Japanese Kodai Naraoka was named the Most Promising Player of the Year.

In Para badminton, Paralympic champion Daiki Kajiwara was named Male Para Badminton Player of the Year, and Manisha Ramadass of India won the Female Para Badminton Player of the Year. Germany's Thomas Wandschneider and Rick Cornell Hellmann were honored with the Para Badminton Pair of the Year award.

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