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World No. 1 An Se-young named world's top female badminton player for 2023

Dec. 12, 2023 - 09:22 By Yonhap
This image, captured on Tuesday, shows South Korea's An Se-young as the Female Player of the Year for 2023. (Badminton World Federation's X page)

South Korean badminton stars An Se-young and Seo Seung-jae have been named the world's best players for the year 2023.

The Badminton World Federation honored An and Seo as its Female and Male Player of the Year awards winners at its year-end ceremony in Hangzhou, China, Monday night.

An, who climbed to world No. 1 in July at age 21, won her first career Asian Games gold medal in the same city of Hangzhou in October while battling through a knee injury in the final.

The BWF recognized athletes for their performance between Nov. 1, 2022, and Oct. 31, 2023. An captured 11 titles during that span, including a run of five consecutive titles, including the world title in August.

"It's a very happy day for me," An was quoted as saying by the BWF's website. "It's been a tiring year. It's a perfect ending for this year, and it couldn't have been better. I'm still young and I hope I can keep achieving more."

Seo had a strong season in the men's doubles and mixed doubles. At the world championships, Seo teamed up with Kang Min-hyuk for the men's doubles title, and then also grabbed the mixed doubles gold medal with Chae Yu-jung. Seo became the first man to win two doubles titles at a single world championship since 1999.

During the Nov. 1, 2022-Oct. 31, 2023 period, Seo also won four BWF World Tour titles.

"It's a great honor to have this award. It's not my achievement alone; this is due to the contribution of my partners, too," Seo said. "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." (Yonhap)