Both stars played a vital role in Korean badminton’s resurgence.
An Se Young and Seo Seung Jae have been named as the BWF Female and Male Player of the Year respectively at the BWF Year-End Awards 2023, after a stellar season that saw them dominate the badminton world.
An Se Young, the 21-year-old sensation from Gwangju, was the undisputed queen of women’s singles, winning 11 titles in the assessment period, including the BWF World Championships 2023 and the Asian Games gold medal. She also reached 13 finals out of 14 tournaments she played, losing one only to world No.2 Chen Yu Fei. She ended the year as the world No.1, with a massive lead of over 6000 points over her nearest rival.
Seo had a stellar run in 2023, becoming the first male player since 1999 to win two events at the BWF World Championships 2023, clinching the men’s doubles title with Kang Min Hyuk and the mixed doubles title with Chae Yu Jung. He also won four BWF World Tour titles in the assessment period, two in each category.
Seo Seung Jae’s success was built on his versatility, agility, and creativity. He excelled in both his doubles categories, playing with different partners and adapting to different situations. He also displayed a flair for the spectacular, with his acrobatic dives, sharp angles, and delicate touches.
An Se Young and Seo Seung Jae’s achievements are a reflection of the strength and depth of Korean badminton. They led a resurgence of Korean players in the international circuit, with other notable performers such as Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan, Kim So Yeong/Kong Hee Yong, and Heo Kwang Hee.
China swept the other awards, Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan, the women’s doubles world No.1 pair, won the ‘Pair of the Year’ award after a stellar season with seven titles.
Jiang Zhen Bang/Wei Ya Xin, who rose to No.6 in the mixed doubles rankings in their debut year, were named ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’.
Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning, another rookie pair who cracked the top 10 in the men’s doubles rankings with four titles, received the ‘Eddy Choong Most Promising Player’ award.