Kuala Lumpur: India's Saina Nehwal was nominated for the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Female Player of the Year award for 2012 on Wednesday. Along with Saina, in the reckoning is World No.1 Li Xuerui of China, who copped eight titles in 2012 including the Olympic and year-ending crowns.
Li's compatriot Wang Yihan, who won the Olympic silver in London, has also been nominated besides the winning Olympic women's doubles pair of Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei (China). Should a pair win, they will share the annual award.
The World No.2 Indian, in 2012, won the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier, Denmark Open Super Series Premier, Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold, and the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold to add to the bronze medal she won at the London Olympics. Otherwise Chinese shuttlers dominated the nominations of the best badminton players of 2012. In the list of the Male Player of the Year are two-time Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan of China and his perennial rival Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei, the current World No.1 and a two-time Olympic silver medallist.
Others in the category are Olympic bronze medallist and winner of the BWF World Super Series Finals Chen Long (China), men's doubles Olympic gold medallists Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng (China) and Lee Yong Dae and the now retired Jung Jae Sung (South Korea), who won the men's doubles bronze medal at London Games.
The nominees for the Most Promising Player of the Year are Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei), Viktor Axelsen (Denmark), Kento Momota (Japan), Nozomi Okuhara (Japan), Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) and Busnan Ongbumrungpan (Thailand). The announcement of the winners and the presentation of prizes will take place here May 18 following the BWF Annual General Meeting.