New Delhi: India's Olympic medal-winning shuttler Saina Nehwal has been nominated for the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Female Player of the Year.
Besides Saina, who won the bronze in the 2012 London Olympics, other female players who are in the race are World No.1 Li Xuerui of China, who bagged eight titles in 2012, including the Olympic and year-end crowns. Li's compatriot, Wang Yihan, the Olympic silver medallist, has also been nominated along with the winning Olympic Women's doubles pair Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei (China).
Among those nominated for 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, who is the current world No.1 and two-time Olympic silver medallist.
Others in that category are Olympic bronze medallist and winner of the BWF World Superseries finals, Chen Long (China), men's doubles Olympic gold medallists Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng (China), Lee Yong Dae and the now retired Jung Jae Sung (South Korea), who won the men's doubles bronze medal at London 2012.
Meanwhile, the nominees for the Most Promising Player of the Year are Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei), Viktor Axelsen (Denmark), Kento Momota (junior men world champion, Japan), Nozomi Okuhara (junior women world champion, Japan), Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) and Busnan Ongbumrungpan (Thailand).
The 2012 choices for these awards will be made at the sole discretion of the BWF Council. The announcement of the winners and the presentation of prizes will take place at a gala dinner in Kuala Lumpur May 18.