Badminton in Olympics: A Guide about its History, Medals, Controversies & Ranking

Badminton in Olympics

Badminton has been around for a while but it was only recently it was introduced to Olympics as a sport contested at the most premier competition across various events. All the information around badminton as an Olympics sports can be found below.

History of Badminton in Olympics

If you want to understand the history of badminton, read more about it here. It’s strange for a sport which has been around for so long and is famous in both, Asia and the UK and Europe, badminton became an Olympics sport only in 1992. How did that come to be?

The efforts to have badminton included in the Olympics began a few years after the war ended and when it was finally included in the 1972 Munich Olympics as a demonstration sport, things looked to be moving in the right direction.

A one-day badminton event was held during the Munich Olympics, on September 4 – incidentally a day before the tragic Munich Massacre unfolded – and nearly 3000 fans were a part of the audience, enjoying the quick-paced action among 25 players from 11 countries.

The badminton gold medals at these demonstration games in 1972 were won by:

  • Men’s Singles: Rudy Hartono (Indonesia)
  • Women’s Singles: Noriko Nakayama (Japan)
  • Men’s Doubles: Ade Chandra/Christian Hadinata (Indonesia)
  • Mixed Doubles: Derek Talbot/Gillian Gilks (England)

The women’s doubles event did not exist at that stage.

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However, things came to a grinding halt after that. The International Badminton Federation (IBF) saw a few of its member nations break away and form another badminton body called the World Badminton Federation with the truce only happening in 1981.

Finally, at the 90th IOC Session in 1985, a decision was taken to include badminton as an Olympics sport for 1992 games in Barcelona. They were first held as an exhibition sport in 1988 games of Seoul before becoming and remaining an Olympics sport since the Barcelona games in 1992.

Olympics Badminton Best Rallies [Video]

When did Badminton Become an Olympics Sport?

Following badminton as a demonstration sport at the 1972 Olympics and an exhibition sport in 1988, it finally became a part of the Olympics in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics.

Over the years, nearly 70 countries have participated in badminton at the Olympics, of which 19 have been a part every time badminton has been played.

In its first edition in 1992, only the men’s and women’s singles and the men’s and women’s doubles were held but every single edition of Olympics has seen the mixed doubles competition also played at the games. Unlike table tennis which has had team events at Olympics, badminton has restricted itself to singles and doubles so far.

Badminton at the 1992 Olympics

This was the first time ever badminton was held at Olympics and four events, men’s and women’s singles and men’s and women’s doubles were played.

The men’s and women’s singles category saw 57 and 52 players participate in the competition respectively while the doubles action saw 30 and 29 pairs take part respectively. Indonesia won both the singles golds while South Korea won the two doubles gold medals on offer.

Of the 16 medals won – including two bronze medals for each event because there was no playoff between the losing semifinalists – 15 were won by Asian countries and Denmark clinched the last.

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Medal Winners

Men’s Singles
  • Gold: Alan Budikusuma (Indonesia)
  • Silver: Ardy Wiranata (Indonesia)
  • Bronze: Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen (Denmark) and Hermawan Susanto (Indonesia)
Women’s Singles
  • Gold: Susi Susanti (Indonesia)
  • Silver: Bang Soo-hyun (South Korea)
  • Bronze: Huang Hua (China) and Tang Jiuhong (China)
Men’s Doubles
  • Gold: Kim Moon-soo/Park Joo-bong (South Korea)
  • Silver: Eddy Hartono/Rudy Gunawan (Indonesia)
  • Bronze: Li Yongbo/Tian Bingyi (China) and Razif Sidek/Jalani Sidek (Malaysia)
Women’s Doubles
  • Gold: Chung So-young/Hwang Hye-young (Korea)
  • Silver: Guan Weizhen/Nong Qunhua (China)
  • Bronze: Gil Young-ah/Shim Eun-jung (South Korea) and Lin Yanfen/Yao Fen (China)

Badminton at the 1996 Olympics

This time around a fifth event, the mixed doubles competition, was added to the Olympics. Also, from this Olympics onward, only one bronze medal was awarded in each event with a playoff between the losing semifinalists deciding that.

South Korea won two gold medals, including one at the mixed doubles, and two other silvers while China, Indonesia and Denmark won the other top spots.

Medal Winners

Men’s Singles
  • Gold: Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen (Denmark)
  • Silver: Dong Jiong (China)
  • Bronze: Rashid Sidek (Malaysia)
Women’s Singles
  • Gold: Bang Soo-hyun (South Korea)
  • Silver: Mia Audina (Indonesia)
  • Bronze: Susi Susanti (Indonesia)
Men’s Doubles
  • Gold: Rexy Mainaky/Ricky Subagja (Indonesia)
  • Silver: Cheah Soon Kit/Yap Kim Hock (Malaysia)
  • Bronze: Antonius Ariantho/Denny Kantono (Indonesia)
Women’s Doubles
  • Gold: Ge Fei/Gu Jun (China)
  • Silver: Gil Young-ah/Jang Hye-ock (South Korea)
  • Bronze: Qin Yiyuan/Tang Yongshu (China)
Mixed Doubles
  • Gold: Kim Dong-moon/Gil Young-ah (South Korea)
  • Silver: Park Joo-bong/Ra Kyung-min (South Korea)
  • Bronze: Liu Jianjun/Sun Man (China)

Badminton at the 2000 Olympics

This was the first Olympics in which China won a singles gold medal, clinching both, the men’s and women’s titles. They went on to win two more gold medals in the women’s and mixed doubles, while Indonesia was the only other country to grab a gold.

Medal Winners

Men’s Singles
  • Gold: Ji Xinpeng (China)
  • Silver: Hendrawan (Indonesia)
  • Bronze: Xia Xuanze (China)
Women’s Singles
  • Gold: Gong Zhichao (China)
  • Silver: Camilla Martin (Denmark)
  • Bronze: Ye Zhaoying (China)
Men’s Doubles
  • Gold: Tony Gunawan/Candra Wijaya (Indonesia)
  • Silver: Lee Dong-soo/Yoo Yong-sung (South Korea)
  • Bronze: Ha Tae-kwon/Kim Dong-moon (South Korea)
Women’s Doubles
  • Gold: Ge Fei/Gu Jun (China)
  • Silver: Huang Nanyan/Yang Wei (China)
  • Bronze: Gao Ling/Qin Yiyuan (China)
Mixed Doubles
  • Gold: Zhang Jun/Gao Ling (China)
  • Silver: Tri Kusharjanto/Minarti Timur (Indonesia)
  • Bronze: Simon Archer/Joanne Goode (Great Britain)

Badminton at the 2004 Olympics

31 countries and 168 athletes competed in the badminton events of the 2004 Olympics games, and China continued to dominate the medals count yet again.

While they won no medals in the men’s singles or doubles, the remaining three golds on offer were all won by China. They also won a silver and a bronze to go with that. South Korea and Indonesia were the other gold winners while Great Britain and Netherlands picked up a silver apiece for the first time in badminton.

Medal Winners

Men’s Singles
  • Gold: Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia)
  • Silver: Shon Seung-mo (South Korea)
  • Bronze: Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Indonesia)
Women’s Singles
  • Gold: Zhang Ning (China)
  • Silver: Mia Audina (Netherlands)
  • Bronze: Zhou Mi (China)
Men’s Doubles
  • Gold: Ha Tae-kwon/Kim Dong-moon (South Korea)
  • Silver: Lee Dong-soo/Yoo Yong-sung (South Korea)
  • Bronze: Eng Hian/Flandy Limpele (Indonesia)
Women’s Doubles
  • Gold: Yang Wei/Zhang Jiewen (China)
  • Silver: Gao Ling/Huang Sui (China)
  • Bronze: Lee Kyung-won/Ra Kyung-min (South Korea)
Mixed Doubles
  • Gold: Zhang Jun/Gao Ling (China)
  • Silver: Nathan Robertson/Gail Emms (Great Britain)
  • Bronze: Jens Eriksen/Mette Schjoldager (Denmark)

Badminton at the 2008 Olympics

China’s domination at badminton continued in 2008 as well, with Lin Dan leading the way with the men’s singles gold and Zhang Ning clinching the women’s singles top prize. They won a third gold at the women’s doubles competition as well, while Indonesia and South Korea managed the remaining gold medals.

No non-Asian country won any medals at this Olympics for badminton.

Medal Winners

Men’s Singles
  • Gold: Lin Dan (China)
  • Silver: Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
  • Bronze: Chen Jin (China)
Women’s Singles
  • Gold: Zhang Ning (China)
  • Silver: Xie Xingfang (China)
  • Bronze: Maria Kristin Yulianti (Indonesia)
Men’s Doubles
  • Gold: Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia)
  • Silver: Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng (China)
  • Bronze: Hwang Ji-man/Lee Jae-jin (South Korea)
Women’s Doubles
  • Gold: Du Jing/Yu Yang (China)
  • Silver: Lee Hyo-jung/Lee Kyung-won (South Korea)
  • Bronze: Wei Yili/Zhang Yawen (China)
Mixed Doubles
  • Gold: Lee Yong-dae/Lee Hyo-jung (South Korea)
  • Silver: Nova Widianto/Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia)
  • Bronze: He Hanbin/Yu Yang (China)

Badminton at the 2012 Olympics

172 athletes took part at the 2012 Olympics over the five badminton events but this was the first ever edition in which any badminton player was disqualified – eight of them were sent packing. (check the sub-section below).

This was also the first time China won all five gold medals which were on offer, to go with two silvers and a bronze. All the medals were won by different Chinese players too. India and Russia got into the medals table too, winning a bronze apiece.

Russia’s medal came thanks to the disqualification of four women’s doubles team, while India’s maiden badminton medal went to Saina Nehwal.

Medal Winners

Men’s Singles
  • Gold: Lin Dan (China)
  • Silver: Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
  • Bronze: Chen Long (China)
Women’s Singles
  • Gold: Li Xuerui (China)
  • Silver: Wang Yihan (China)
  • Bronze: Saina Nehwal (India)
Men’s Doubles
  • Gold: Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng (China)
  • Silver: Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (Denmark)
  • Bronze: Jung Jae-sung/Lee Yong-dae (South Korea)
Women’s Doubles
  • Gold: Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei (China)
  • Silver: Mizuki Fujii/Reika Kakiiwa (Japan)
  • Bronze: Valeria Sorokina/Nina Vislova (Russia)
Mixed Doubles
  • Gold: Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei (China)
  • Silver: Xu Chen/Ma Jin (China)
  • Bronze: Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen (Denmark)

Badminton at the 2016 Olympics

After a rich haul of five gold medals in the previous Olympics, a lot was expected out of China again but they had to be content with two golds and a bronze.

Japan and Indonesia won two of the other golds while Spain jumped into the fray as well with their first medal – a gold at the women’s singles where Carolina Marin defeated India’s PV Sindhu to clinch the title.

Medal Winners

Men’s Singles
  • Gold: Chen Long (China)
  • Silver: Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
  • Bronze: Viktor Axelsen (Denamrk)
Women’s Singles
  • Gold: Carolina Marin (Spain)
  • Silver: PV Sindhu (India)
  • Bronze: Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)
Men’s Doubles
  • Gold: Zhang Nan/Fu Haifeng (China)
  • Silver: Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong (Malaysia)
  • Bronze: Chris Langridge/Marcus Ellis (Great Britain)
Women’s Doubles
  • Gold: Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Japan)
  • Silver: Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Denmark)
  • Bronze: Jung Kyung-eun/Shin Seung-chan (South Korea)
Mixed Doubles
  • Gold: Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia)
  • Silver: Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (Malaysia)
  • Bronze: Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei (China)

Badminton at the 2020 Olympics

The 2020 Olympics was postponed to 2021 because of the outbreak of the coronavirus.

172 players are expected to take part in this competition spread across the five events, men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles. More information on this will be updated as we get closer to the competition.

Best Teams in Olympics Badminton

Indonesia began the 1992 Olympics games with two golds, two silvers and a bronze but China has since caught up and leads the medals tally at the Olympics badminton.

China have 18 gold medals in all between 1992 and 2016, to go with 8 silvers and 15 bronze medals. Indonesia have seven golds and South Korea have six, with three other countries, Denmark, Japan and Spain having won one gold apiece.

Only five countries other than these six have won at least one medal at badminton in Olympics.

Do Players Get Ranking Points at Olympics?

Yes, players earn BWF ranking points by participating at the Olympics. In fact, the Olympics is a Tier 1 competition for badminton along with the World Championships and the tournament winner earns a whopping 13,000 points for the title.

Only at the World Championships does a player earn as much as 13,000, while Grade 2, Level 1 & 2 tournaments earn tournament winners 12,000 points.

In case of annual tournaments in badminton, the points earned in a tournament remain a part of a player’s tally for a period of 12 months before it’s reset. So, a player winning a Level 1 tournament in January 2019 will lose those points 12 months later and the new points from the result in that same tournament in January 2020 will be added to the player’s tally.

Olympics, however, is held once every four years. The points system works differently to the annual tournaments.

The points won by a player at the Olympics are reduced by 25% every 12 months till they are fully gone at the end of the fourth year, when the next Olympics is played.

Rankings Points Earned by Players at Olympics Badminton

  • Winner: 13,000
  • Runner-up: 11,000
  • Losing Semi-Finalists: 9,200
  • Losing Quarter-Finalists: 7,200
  • Losing Pre-Quarter-Finalists: 5,200
  • Losing in Round of 32: 3,200
  • Losing in Round of 64: 1,300

Badminton Records at Olympics

Going into the Tokyo Olympics which was going to be held in 2020 – and then postponed to 2021 – there were a total of 10 badminton players to have won two gold medals apiece. No player has won three gold medals so far.

At the top of the medals tally is China’s Gao Ling, who has won two golds, one silver and one bronze. No other player has won four overall medals either. Fu Haifeng is the only other player to have won two golds and one silver as well, while South Korea’s Kim Dong-moon is the only player from outside of China to have won two golds.

Other than China and South Korea, countries to have won a gold at badminton in Olympics include Indonesia, Denmark, Japan and Spain.

The 2012 London Olympics Controversy

Eight women’s badminton’s players were disqualified from the event after they were found to have deliberately lost their matches in a bid to get to play opponents of their choice at the knockout stage.

More details around this controversial day in badminton at the 2012 London Olympics can be found here.

Stan Boone

I am the editor of Racket Sports World. I love my tennis, pickleball and most of the other racket sports played around the world and started this blog as my way to help other racquet sports fans even as I learn, explore and improve by connecting with them. Tweet at

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