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. DSport has picked up the top ten greatest badminton players of all time, just for you.
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.
Lee Chong Wei
Malaysian Chinese professional badminton player Dato’ Lee Chong Wei is the sixth Malaysian to win an Olympic medal. He achieved the silver medal in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and became the first Malaysian to reach the finals in the men’s singles event of the badminton at the Olympiad. Lee Chong Wei was described by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as a national hero and has earned the title Dato’ for his contribution in the Malaysian sports.
Lee Chong Wei held the World Number 1 spot for 199 consecutive weeks from 21 August 2008 to 14 June 2012. He is the only Malaysian badminton player to hold the top position in the world ranking more than a year.
Retired Indonesian badminton player Taufik Hidayat won the Indonesian Open a record six times (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006). Hidayat won the men’s singles competition in badminton at the 2004 Summer Olympics. In August 2005, he won the men’s singles competition at the IBF World Championships.
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.
Rudy Hartono is a former Indonesian badminton star who won the men’s singles title at the prestigious All-England Championship eight times which include a record seven consecutive wins from 1968 to 1974. Rudy attempted just once in BWF World Championships in his career and won the title in the single attempt at 2nd IBF World Championships in 1980 in Jakarta.
Besides international badminton events, he also participated and won the men’s singles title at 1972 Munich Summer Olympics when the badminton was included as a part of the Olympic program for the first time.
Chinese female badminton legend Gao Ling is noted for her forecourt prowess, consistency, and anticipation. Gao is one of the most successful doubles players in the history of women’s badminton. Her four Olympic badminton medals are the most of any player. She has won titles at almost every top-tier tournament in the world. Gao has earned four gold medals (among nine medals in total) at the BWF World Championships, three of them in women’s doubles with Huang Sui (2001, 2003, and 2006) and one of them in mixed doubles with Zhang Jun (2001). She and Zhang Jun won consecutive gold medals in mixed doubles at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, overcoming severe tests in both. She with her partner Huang Sui bagged six consecutive women’s doubles titles from 2001 to 2006 at the All-England Championships.
Indonesian-born badminton player Tony Gunawan is regarded by many as one of the greatest male doubles players in the international badminton’s history. He is a former Olympic gold medalist and world champion for Indonesia and now represents the United States.
He won the Men’s Doubles gold medal in the 2005 World Championships with his American partner Howard Bach. Gunawan partnered with Halim Haryanto to win the 2001 World Championships as well as the 2001 All-England Open, and with Candra Wijaya to win the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He was a member of the world champion 2000 Indonesia Thomas Cup team, winning his match in the final against China with yet another partner, Rexy Mainaky.
Morten Frost Hansen
Retired Danish badminton star Morten Frost Hansen spent twelve years in the top three spots in the world rankings and is inducted in the seventh place in our list of Top 10 Greatest Badminton Players of All Time. He was nicknamed “Mr. Badminton” by his fans and media for winning almost every international top level championship except the World Badminton Championships.
He won the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships four times in 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1987. Hansen won the European champion twice in 1984 and 1986 and also achieved the Nordic championship a record consecutive seven times from 1978 to 1984 and again in 1988. He achieved his home country’s Denmark Open consecutive seven times from 1980 to 1986 and again in 1989.
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.
Former Chinese badminton player Han Aiping ranks among the greats of the woman’s international badminton. She was widely regarded for her superb overhead strokes and dominated international women’s singles in the 80s.
She won three gold medals and three silver medals in World Championships, and also achieved the 1986 Seoul Asian Games title. She won two gold medals in World Grand Prix and also won the World Badminton Federation’s version of the World Championships in 1979. Han Aiping won the Japan Open twice, Malaysia Open thrice and Hong Kong Open four times during her astounding career. She was named in the Badminton Hall of Fame in 1998.
Peter Høeg Gade
Peter Høeg Gade is a retired Danish professional badminton player. He was ranked as world number 1 from 1998 to 2001 and again recaptured the number one spot in the world rankings on June 22, 2006, for a brief period. With his 22 Grand-Prix titles, Gade has become one of the sport’s most successful players.
He has always combined genuine sportsmanship with a true battling spirit, competing for every single point. He was famous for his smooth footwork, fast attacks and the ability to handle constant pressure, and also for his trademark shot, the Double Action.