Badminton is one of the most famous racket sports around the world. It is an Olympic sport that was first played in 1992 at the Olympic Games in Barcelona.
Badminton is the second most popular participatory sport in the world, just behind soccer, and is considered as the fastest racket sport. We recognize badminton with the racquets and player hitting shuttlecocks at the speed of 300 kmph.
Let’s go back to the history and see some of the most famous badminton players around the world.The greatest badminton players of all time are –
Legendary Chinese professional badminton player Lin Dan was nicknamed “Super Dan” by Peter Gade. He is regarded as the greatest singles player of all time by many all over the world. He is the first and only player to complete the “Super Grand Slam” by the age of 28, which includes all nine major titles in the international badminton.
He is a two-time Olympic champion, five-time World champion, as well as a six-time All England champion. He also became the first men’s singles player to retain the Olympic gold medal by winning in 2008 and defending his title in 2012. He is the only badminton player in history to win the Olympic gold medal twice consecutively in 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. He was voted as the best male athlete of 2010 in CCTV Sports Personality of the Year..
Retired Indonesian badminton player Taufik Hidayat won the Indonesian Open a record six times. He is famous for his rivalry against Lin Dan to capture the top place as the duo also called as the “arch rivals” by popular Medias. He achieved 27 titles and positioned runner-ups 19 times till his retirement. His major achievements includes a gold, a silver and two bronze medal in World Championships, 3 gold, a silver and two bronze medal in Asian Games, 2 gold, a silver and three bronze medal in Thomas Cup, 3 gold, two silver and a bronze medal in Asian Championships, and 2 gold medal in Southeast Asian Games. Hidayat won the Men’s singles title at 2004 Athens Olympic Games. He holds the record of fastest smash recorded in single’s competition with his 305 km/hr smash in a match against Ng Wei in the 2006 world championships.
Lee Chong Wei
Malaysian Chinese badminton player Lee Chong Wei is the only Malaysian player to hold the world number one ranking for more than a year. He was ranked the world number 1 first on 21 August 2008 and continued to stay there for a record 199 consecutive weeks and became the third Malaysian player to achieve such a feat. His major achievements are gold medal at 2006 Asian Championships, 2 silver medals in Olympic Games, three silver and a bronze in World Championships, four gold medals in Commonwealth Games, gold and a silver medal in Southeast Asian Games, and silver and three bronze medals in Thomas Cup. Lee received Penang Sportsman Award six times and was named BWF Player of the Year four times. He was also named Olympian of the Year twice consecutively in 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
Chinese female badminton player Gao Ling is widely known for her consistency, forecourt prowess, anticipation and most famously for her ever smiling face. She is a marvelous singles player and one of the most successful doubles players in the international badminton history. Her major achievements includes 2 gold, a silver and a bronze medal in 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympic Games, four gold medals in Badminton World Championship, five gold medals in Uber Cup, three gold medals in Sudirman Cup and a gold medal in 2006 Yiyang Badminton World Cup. She proved herself the best at mixed and women’s doubles while having as a partner such as Huang Sui and Zhang Jun and won consecutive medals at Olympic Games. Gao Ling and Huang Sui captured a record six consecutive women’s doubles titles at the All-England Championships from 2001 to 2006.
Former Chinese female badminton player Li Lingwei is considered by many as the greatest women’s single badminton player of all time. A brilliant all-around player whose court coverage and net play were particularly impressive, she maintained an overall edge on her teammate, rival, and sometimes doubles partner Han Aiping.
Lingwei with her doubles partner Han Aiping dominated international women’s singles and won the IBF World Championships twice and also achieved the IBF World doubles title in 1985. She won 3 gold medals and two silver medals in BWF World Championships in her career and also achieved the World Grand Prix singles title. She was inducted into the international Badminton Hall of Fame in 1998.