One of the most popular racquet sports in the world is badminton. It is played between two individual players or two pairs of players. The opponents take the position in the opposite halves of the rectangular court which is divided by a net. In order to honor the badminton stars, we are here with the list of the greatest badminton players ever.
Greatest Badminton Players of All Time | 2022 Updates
The sport became a part of the Olympic sport in the year 1992 and has five competitions/events in the Olympics. These five events include singles of men and women, doubles of men and women, and finally a mixed double. Let us take a look at the top 10 greatest badminton players of all time.
10. Han Aiping
Legendary Chinese female badminton player Han Aiping is widely considered as one of the greatest female badminton players of all time and is inducted in the tenth place in our list of Top 10 Greatest Badminton Players of All Time.
She was widely regarded for her amazing overhead strokes. Han Aiping dominated international women’s singles of badminton during 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 amazing career. She has earned her place in the Badminton Hall of Fame in 1998.
9. Peter Høeg Gade
Former Danish badminton star Peter Høeg Gade held the world no.1 spot from 1998 to 2001 and recaptured the position again on 22nd June 2006 where he stayed there for a brief period.
He has earned his reputation for his ability to handle constant pressure and for his smooth footwork. And for those talents, he deserves the ninth place in our list of greatest badminton players of all time.
Peter Høeg Gade became popular for his trademark shot, the Double Action, in his heydays. He achieved the title of European Championships five times and won three gold medals at the European Team Championships.
He achieved four bronze in World Championships from 1999 Copenhagen World Championships till 2011 London World Championships.
8. Li Lingwei
Retired female Chinese badminton player Li Lingwei is widely considered as the greatest women’s singles badminton player of all time and is inducted in the eighth place in our list of best badminton players of all time.
She dominated international women’s doubles events with her doubles partner Han Aiping and won the IBF World doubles title in 1985.
Li Lingwei also achieved the IBF World Championships twice in the singles event. She achieved three gold medals and two silver medals in BWF World Championships in her acting career and also grabbed the World Grand Prix singles title.
Li Lingwei also became an elected member of the International Olympic Committee in July 2012.
7. Morten Frost Hansen
Retired Danish badminton star Morten Frost Hansen spent twelve years in the top three spots of the world rankings and is inducted in the seventh place in our list of top 10 best 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. Hansen won the silver twice in World Championships in 1985 and 1987.
Popular media quoted him as “The World’s greatest badminton player may never be World Champion”. Morten Frost Hansen won the All England Open Badminton Championship title four times in 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1987.
He won the Denmark Open consecutive seven times between 1980 and 1986.
6. Rudy Hartono
Former Indonesian badminton legend Rudy Hartono is regarded as one of the greatest badminton players in history besides being regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time.
He achieved the title of the prestigious All-England Championship’s men’s singles events eight times in his career. And, he surely deserves the sixth place in our list of greatest badminton players of all time.
Rudy Hartono won the title of 2nd IBF World Championships in 1980 in Jakarta in just a single attempt. He also achieved four gold medals and two silver medals in Thomas Cups.
Rudy Hartono won the men’s singles title at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. As an interesting fact, the Olympic committee inducted badminton in their primary program for the first time in 1972.
5. Lee Chong Wei
Malaysian-Chinese badminton star Lee Chong Wei is the only player from Malaysia to hold the world’s number one spot for more than a year. He achieved the top spot on 21 August 2008 and maintained his position for a record 199 consecutive weeks thus becoming the third Malaysian player to achieve such a feat.
And for that, he deserves the fifth place in our list of greatest badminton players of all time. He won 2 silver medals in Olympic Games, a gold medal at the 2006 Asian Championships, and three silver and a bronze in World Championships.
Lee Chong Wei also achieved four gold medals in Commonwealth Games, gold, and a silver medal in the Southeast Asian Games.
He achieved the Penang Sportsman Award six times till now. Besides, he has also won BWF Player of the Year four times in his career.
4. Tony Gunawan
Indonesian badminton player Tony Gunawan is widely regarded as one of the greatest male doubles players in badminton history and is inducted in the fourth place in our list of Top 10 Greatest Badminton Players of All Time.
He represented his homeland Indonesia from 1992 to 2001 and has currently represented and coached the United States team since 2001.
He won the 2000 Sydney Olympic gold medal, the 2001 Seville World Championships, and Anaheim 2005 World Championships with 3 different men’s doubles partners.
Tony Gunawan also achieved the titles of US Open, Taipei Open, Puerto Rico Open, and SCBA Classic in mixed doubles. He won the IBF World Championships and All-England Open with his partner Halim Haryanto in 2001.
3. Gao Ling
Chinese female badminton legend Gao Ling is noted for her forecourt prowess, consistency, and anticipation. Besides her immense talent, fans also remembered her for her ever-smiling face. And without any doubt, she deserves the third place in our list of the Greatest Badminton Players of All Time.
The badminton world still considers her as the most successful doubles player in history. She achieved 2 gold, a silver, and a bronze medal in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
Besides, she also achieved four gold medals in Badminton World Championship. Gao Ling achieved three gold medals in the Sudirman Cup, five gold medals in the Uber Cup, and the title of the 2006 Yiyang Badminton World Cup.
She with her partner Huang Sui bagged six consecutive women’s doubles titles from 2001 to 2006 at the All-England Championships.
2. Taufik Hidayat
Indonesian retired badminton star Taufik Hidayat achieved the Indonesian Open a record six times. He had a popular rivalry with Lin Dan to achieve the top place in the badminton world. Besides, the duo is also portrayed as the arch-rivals in popular Media.
Taufik Hidayat has achieved 27 international titles until his retirement. He surely deserves the second place in our list of the greatest badminton players of all time.
He won gold, silver, and two bronze medal in World Championships. Besides, he also won 3 gold, silver, and two bronze medals in Asian Games.
Taufik Hidayat achieved 3 gold, two silver, and a bronze medal in Asian Championships, and 2 gold, a silver, and three bronze medal in Thomas Cup. He has also received the singles title at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
1. Lin Dan
The badminton world considers Chinese Badminton legend Lin Dan as the greatest singles player in history. He became the only player to complete the “Super Grand Slam” by the age of 28.
Dan has achieved that feat by winning all nine major titles in international badminton. His fans also named him the “Super Dan”. Lin Dan achieved 5 gold and a silver medal in World Badminton Championships and 2 gold medals in the badminton World Cup.
He also won 5 gold and 2 bronze medals in Thomas Cup, 3 gold medals in Asian Championships. Besides, he also won 3 gold medals in Asian Games.
Lin Dan became the only player in badminton history to achieve the Olympic gold twice consecutively in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. CCTV Sports named him the best male athlete of 2010.
Badminton demands a high level of physical fitness, aerobic stamina, strength, agility, precision, and speed. It also requires great motor coordination and sophisticated racquet movements. All in all, it is safe to say that the players who have reached great heights in this sport have both the talent and diligence to work hard.
Greatest Badminton Players Of All Time – Infographics
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FAQs Regarding Greatest Badminton Players
Q. Who is the greatest badminton player ever?
A. It is widely considered that Chinese badminton legend Lin Dan is the best singles player in history. By the age of 28, he became the only player to complete the “Super Grand Slam.” Dan won all nine major international badminton titles. Fans also dubbed him “Super Dan.”
Q. Who is the mother of Badminton?
A. Jwala Gutta began playing badminton at a young age after being born in Wardha to a Chinese mother and a Telugu father. Earlier in her career, Gutta played with Shruti Kurien but found greater success internationally with Ashwini Ponnappa.
Q. Which country is famous for Badminton?
A. Since 1977, China has consistently been the top-performing country in the world at the Badminton Championships. Over the years, players from this country have won 61 gold medals, 42 silver medals, and 64 bronze medals.
Q. Who first invented Badminton?
A. It was invented in India under the name Poona. It was introduced to British officers around 1870. From Badminton, the game gets its name, the duke of Beaufort introduced the sport in 1873.