Award a Great Boost, Says Kajiwara

Award a Great Boost, Says Kajiwara

Daiki Kajiwara believes being named the Male Para Badminton Player of 2023 is the perfect tonic ahead of his WH2 men’s singles gold-medal defence at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Kajiwara beat Cheah Liek Hou, Lucas Mazur and Kim Jung Jun to the gong, his second consecutive after also winning it in 2022.

The world No.1 was presented his award on the NSDF Royal Beach Cliff BWF Para Badminton World Championships 2024 finals day in Pattaya, Thailand on Sunday.

“Winning my second Player of the Year award is an unexpected and unbelievable honour,” said the Japanese after receiving his prize. “It’s an incredible feeling and a huge boost for me heading into the Paris Paralympics.”

Kajiwara earned the nod of the BWF Awards Commission after ending a fruitful year unbeaten, bagging eight singles gold to go with three gold and three silver in men’s doubles.

Indonesia won the other two Para categories in the BWF Player of the Year Awards 2023.

SH6 star Lina Marlina was named Female Para Badminton Player of the Year while compatriots Hikmat Ramdani/Leani Ratri Oktila took home the Para Badminton Pair of the Year title.

“It’s humbling to be recognised among such talented players. Badminton is my greatest passion, and I’m grateful to BWF for this recognition,” said Marlina.

Oktila, who now has four of the prestigious end-of-season awards having also won the female category in 2018, 2019 and 2020-21, added: “It’s a remarkable day for Indonesia. I’m thrilled beyond words.”

Marlina posing with BWF Deputy President KhunyingPatama Leeswadtrakul after accepting her award.