Sunday, 21 April 2013
By James Crook
April 21 - Europe's best-performing players of the past year were honoured and the first member of the European badminton Hall of Fame was inducted at the Badminton Europe Confederation (BEC) Player Awards, which took place in Bratislava, Slovakia.
More than 10,000 people cast their votes for the awards via Badminton Europe's website and Facebook page, with national coaches of each of the 51 Badminton Europe Member Associations also getting a vote which was multiplied by five.
The BEC Best Male Player of the Year 2012 title was somewhat unsurprisingly awarded to Danish world number one pairing Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen (pictured above), who won the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Super Series Masters Finals for the third consecutive year in 2012.
The duo also took silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games, along with a win at the China Open and a gold medal at the European Championships in a hugely successful year.
Germany's Juliane Schenk was awarded the BEC Best Female Player 2012 Award after a successful year
The Best Female Player of the Year award was given to Germany's Juliane Schenk, who was the only European to win an individual Super Series event last year when she lifted the Singapore Open.
The 30-year-old also reached the final of both the Denmark and India Open events, and took silver at the European Championships, losing out to the now-retired Tine Baun of Denmark.
The Best Young Player of the Year 2012 award went to Spain's promising 19-year-old Carolina Marín, who showed her potential on the big stage last year by reaching the quarter-finals of the European Championships and the semi-finals of the Bitburger Open Grand Prix Gold.
Erland Kops was inducted into the Badminton Europe Hall of Fame by BE President Poul-Erik Høyer
The first member of the new Badminton Europe Hall of Fame was also officially inducted, with the honour going to Denmark's legendary Erland Kops, the dominant force in men's badminton during the early to mid-1960's.
Kops accumulated seven All England singles titles between 1958 and 1967 as well as four doubles titles, also becoming the first Westerner to make a mark on tournaments in the Far East, winning dozens of titles all over the world.
(A note on Carolina Marin can be found in Wikipedia)