Mumbai, Nov 11 | India’s para-badminton star Pramod Bhagat, who scripted a great comeback to win a gold medal in the men’s singles SL3 category at this year’s Tokyo Paralympic Games, has been nominated in two categories in the Player of the Year Awards 2020/2021 by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
Reigning World Champion Bhagat, who won 11 successive points in the second game to beat Daniel Bethell of Great Britain 21-14, 21-17 in the men’s singles SL3 final, has been nominated in the Male Para-Badminton Player of the Year category.
He and his doubles partner Manoj Sarkar, who won bronze Men’s Singles SL3 in Tokyo Olympics, has been nominated in the newly created category — Para-Badminton Pair of the Year. While Bhagat is ranked No 1 in the world, Sarkar is the third-ranked player with Bathell sandwiched in between.
the nominations have been extended for two seasons/years — 2020 and 2021 — because the schedule was greatly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the Male Para-Badminton Player of the Year award category, Bhagat has been nominated along with Cheah Liek Hou of Malaysia, Daiki Kajimura of Japan, Kim Jung-Jun of South Korea, Lucas Mazur of France, and Qu Zimo of China.
These two nominations were the only ones for India as none of the able-bodied players had managed to get nominated.
Denmark’s World. No 2 Viktor Axelsen, Wang Yilyu of China, Yuta Watanabe of Japan, and Anders Antonsen have been shortlisted for the Male Player of the Year award while Spain’s former World Champion Carolina Marin, Chen Yufei of China, World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and Akane Yamaguchi of Japan are the players nominated for Female Player of the Year award.
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