Over all these years, badminton world has seen best in class players whose names have been etched in golden letters. Badminton is the racket sport where the players from East Asian countries dominate the arena. Join me as I venture on to the countdown to the Top 5 most successful badminton players in the world. So let’s begin!
5. Tony Gunawan
To start off with here is Indonesian-born Tony Gunawan. He is one of the best male doubles players in badminton world. His best performance includes a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, top honor at the 2001 Seville World Championships and 2005 World Championships in Anaheim. All of these titles are won by Tony during his partnership with three different shuttlers, which demonstrates his prowess as a doubles specialist. Adding to this, He also won the mixed doubles titles at US Open, Taipei Open, and Puerto Rico Open among many others. In 2001, Gunawan moved on to play for the United States and has represented them since then. He is now the head coach at San Gabriel Badminton Club 2, Pomona, CA.
4. Gao Ling
Four-time Olympic medal winner and World Champion Gao Ling is an exemplary player in women’s and mixed doubles. Gao is one of the most successful doubles players in the history of women’s badminton, widely accredited for her consistency, forecourt prowess, and a sporting smile. Hailing from China, she has won almost every top-tier tournament in the world. What is astonishing is that she has captured a record six consecutive women’s doubles titles at the All-England Championships with her partner Huang Sui, from 2001 to 2006. Apart from winning four medals at the Olympic Games, Ling has also taken home five gold medals in Uber Cup, three gold medals in Sudirman Cup and a gold medal in 2006 Yiyang Badminton World Cup. All of her achievements deserve a mention in this countdown, placing her at number four.
3. Taufik Hidayat
Taufik Hidayat is a badminton player of international repute coming from the country of Indonesia. He is a former World and Olympic champion in men’s singles, winning the gold at 2004 Athens Olympics. Taufik has dominated the Indonesian Open, grabbing six titles from 1999 to 2006. His major achievements include four medals in World Championships and six medals in Asian Championships. Hidayat’s strengths lie in his backhand shots, forehand jump smash, drop shot smooth footwork with skillful net play. The rivalry between Hidayat and Lin Dan has been popular, referring to the two as “arch rivals”. Moreover, Hidayat’s forehand jump smash in the 2006 World Championships holds the record for fastest smash singles competition at 305 km/h. Therefore he comes at the third position in this list.
2. Lee Chong Wei
Representing Malaysia in the international arena, on the second place in this countdown is the popular figure, Lee Chong Wei. Not only he was ranked the world number 1 first on 21 August 2008 but continued to stay there for a record 199 weeks. Even though being a three-time Olympic silver medalist, the yellow metal still eludes him. Also, ending as a runner-up thrice at the World Championships may not sound convincing for a player of his stature. But Lee has never failed to perform at his best in the international circuit. Wei’s record of 66 career titles is a testimony to this fact, with more honors to come in future for sure. For his consistent game and match-winning ability, Lee Chong Wei has become BWF Player of the Year five times. Additionally, he is has been Olympian of the Year on three consecutive occasions in 2008, 2012 and 2016. This depicts his class as one of the world’s best player.
1. Lin Dan
At number one is the Chinese legend Lin Dan who is undoubtedly considered to be the greatest singles player of all time. The track record of Lin is marvelous in the international circuit. This former world number one player is the only athlete to have achieved the ‘Super Grand Slam’. Displaying his exceptional talent, he won all the major titles in the badminton world at the age of 28. With two Olympic gold medals under his belt, Dan has also won top prizes at the World Championships and World Cup. Other achievements include wins at Super Series Masters Finals, All England Open, Asian Games and Asian Championships. Phew! Isn’t that a big list?! Lin Dan a.k.a ‘Super Dan’, a nickname given by his fans for his mind-boggling achievements throughout his career. This legendary star is still going strong and winning titles, adding to his ever-growing kitty. So looking forward to seeing more of the superstar!