Originating in the mid-1700s and officially made an Olympic sport in 1992, badminton is a game that continues to gain popularity in countries the world over, particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. This competitive racquet sport requires quick reflexes, outstanding coordination, accurate timing, and some fancy footwork.
However, as with any other sport, some players can combine these skills with a natural aptitude that makes them the best of the best, earning them a spot among the most famous badminton players to ever hit the court.
Top 5 Male Badminton Players
Let’s take a look at the top 5 best male badminton players in the world.
1. Rudy Hartono Kurniawan (Indonesia)
No list of the best badminton players, either past or present, is complete without the name of Rudy Hartono Kurniawan. Of Chinese-Indonesian descent, this remarkable badminton player won the All-England Championship trophy eight times throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the World Championship for men’s singles in 1980, and four Thomas Cup team championships for Indonesia, to name only a few.
2. Morten Frost Hansen (Denmark)
Denmark’s Morten Frost Hansen remained among the top three badminton players in the world for a period of 12 years during his career, which spanned the years from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. Known as “Mr. Badminton,” he has an extensive and impressive record of championship wins and is renowned for his grace and agility. Also hailing from Denmark is Peter Gade who won a total of 16 Grand Prix titles and was ranked the world’s number-one player from 1998 to 2001.
3. Yang Yang (China)
In 1963, Yang Yang was born in a sports home in Nanjing. His parents used to be volleyball players. At the age of 15, he entered the provincial team and at the age of 20, he was elected to the national team. His biggest advantage is that his footwork is very flexible, his playing skill is very fast, and his lightning speed of smashing is the key for him to beat the opponents.
Yang Yang playing style is he can drive and drop very quickly. Compared with Zhao Jianhua, his offense is even more aggressive. He has good footwork and physical fitness. He also possesses precise technique and strong smashing power. In the mid-to-late 1990s, Sun Jun and Yang Fujing played very similarly to him. In fact, Lin Dan’s style of play is quite close to Yang Yang, but the style on the court of the two is quite different.
Yang Yang ever won the four world championship slams, was ranked first in the world’s badminton for a long time He is known as the “king of the king” in badminton.
As the world’s first player to win the four championships in the Thomas Cup, World Championships, World Cup, and All England, Yang Yang represents the badminton dream of the generation of Chinese.
Eddy Choong is one of the best badminton players of all time. Not only was he fast with his racket but he was always where the birdie landed. Badminton is generally not a sport where the players are famous but there are quite a few for people who are into the game. Another great was Han Jian of China.
4. Lin Dan (China)
Lin Dan can say to be one of the greatest badminton players in the world.
In his sports career, he won 5 World Championships, 2 Olympic gold medals, 5 British Championships, and 42 World Badminton series champions. His badminton career is perfect and he has become a legend in badminton history.
Technically, It is hard for you to find any weak point on Lin Dan. On the psychological level, he is very determined. Even if he is in an obviously not so good state, he will still fight against the opponent.
This is the determination of Lin Dan. He never loses his confidence. This is the characteristic that a great badminton player needs to have. And Lin Dan just has it all.
5. Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
Since the introduction of the official ranking for badminton in the 1980s, he has held the record in ranked in the world first place for the longest period. He is also the player who won the most men’s singles event in history.
He ever participated 3 times in Olympic Games, but unfortunately even though 3 times also he managed to go into the final, but 3 times he loses in the games and only got the silver medal for the Olympic Games.
No matter how this has made him the athlete who won the most Olympic medals in Malaysia history. Therefore, he is also known as the greatest athlete in the history of Malaysia.
An unofficial wealth calculation said that his personal net worth is about $75 million.
Top 5 Female Badminton Players
After the male players, now is the time for us to take a look at the top 5 best female badminton players in history.
1. Zhang Ning (China)
Of course, not all of the most famous badminton players are men. Worthy of mention among this elite group is China’s Zhang Ning, a women’s singles player who won the gold medal in the Olympics in both 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing).
She only started playing badminton at the age of 10. At such an age is considered quite overage for a player to start practicing badminton in China. However, with her tenacity and perseverance in badminton, she finally makes herself to become an international player.
Zhang Ning is a typical a great talent matures slowly player. She has won two Olympic gold medals at the end of her badminton career. She won her first Olympic gold medal at the age of 29 and the second at the age of 33. She was then retired from the badminton sports.
2. Lee Lingwei (China)
2. The first badminton women’s singles athlete in the history of badminton who won the World Cup, All England Open, and World Series Grand Prix finals. She won 13 world championships in her badminton career. She is known as the “Queen in Badminton Arena”.
Li Lingwei has the advantages of exquisite technology, fast-moving speed, and strong explosive power. In her time (the 1980s), there were very few rivals who can compete with her. Even after dozens of years, her style of play is still advanced than other players.
3. Carolina María Marín Martín (Spain)
This is the world’s number one female player from Spain. Anyone who pays attention to the badminton sports knows that the female badminton has always been the world of Asian players. In recent years, Chinese female players have swept almost all the championships.
However, Carolina Marin’s appearance has broken this pattern. She won the World Women’s Singles Championship twice (2014, 2015) and won the championship in the 2016 Olympic Games!
Carolina Marin has a strong ability to read the game and doing pre-judgment. She has very good physical strength and strong spiking power. When she exerts her explosive power, she can play at a really fast speed with her delicate movement in front of the net. She can make a fierce attack and having a strong ability to hold multiple shots.
4. Susi Susanti (Indonesia)
She is the first Olympic women’s singles gold medal winner in badminton. She is also the greatest badminton women’s singles athlete in Indonesia’s history. She has very good stamina and her standard playing style is to exhaust the opponent’s physical strength, energy, and endurance in exchange for victory.
Although such a playing style is not so entertaining in the audiences’ eyes, the practicality is excellent.
She has won 7 World Cup championships, 6 Year-end Finals Champions, and 4 All-England Championships during her badminton career.
At the same time, she is the first Grand Slam winner in the world of women’s badminton. If Li Lingwei is the ruler of the badminton women’s singles event in the 1980s, then Wang Lianxiang is the leader of the women’s singles in the 1990s.
5. Saina Nehwal (India)
At the plateau of her badminton career, Senna became the first Indian women’s singles player to be ranked first in the world.
She is the best badminton player in India’s history. She has scored very good results at a young age. Her excellent playing techniques at the front net and strong smashing have made a great threat to her opponents.
In India, she is a renowned sports player who is like a movie celebrity. As of now, she is the richest female badminton player in the world. And she is the second richest athlete in India after Sania Mirza (tennis player).
Some other famous players who deserve mention are Lee C, Taufik Hidayat, Liem Swie King, Cai Yun, and Yu Yang.
While all of these badminton players have made notable achievements, there are many others with equally successful careers in the sport. Each player has made unique contributions to badminton through practice, perseverance, talent, and personal style, bringing the game out of the world of backyard family entertainment and into the realm of worldwide competitive sports.