London Spy

Sport guide: Badminton

London Spy

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OVERVIEW:

Such is the domination of badminton by the Asian nations that Denmark is the only country from outside that part of the world to have won an Olympic gold medal.

Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen was the Danish hero in the Atlanta men's singles in 1996. Among his opponents were reigning Olympic champion Alan Budikusuma and 1995 world champion Hariyanto Arbi — both from Indonesia — but the Dane won the gold without dropping a game. Some reports suggested that a key factor in Høyer

Larsen's success was his insistence on wearing his lucky shoes, described as anywhere between seven and 12 years old, and falling apart.

The Atlanta Games were also significant in that they delivered a first badminton gold for China, who would progress to claim four out of five golds at Sydney four years later and three out of five in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008. However, only Indonesia have collected a badminton gold at every Games since the sport joined the list of medal events in 1992.

Mixed doubles was added to the schedule in 1996 and will again be contested in London.

Another interesting fact about badminton is that the net is not the same height all the way along. It measures 5ft 1in at the ends and 5ft in the centre.

EVENTS / FAVOURITES / FORMAT:

MEN'S SINGLES:
1. Chong Wei Lee (Malaysia)
2. Lin Dan (China)
3. Chen Jin (China)
4. Chen Long (China)
5. Peter Gade Christensen (Denmark)
6. Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia)
7. Simon Santoso (Indonesia)
8. Tien Minh Nguyen (Vietnam)
WOMEN'S SINGLES:
1. Wang Yihan (China)
2. Wang Xin (China)
3. Wang Shixian (China)
4. Saina Nehwal (India)
5. Tine Baun (Denmark)
6. Juliane Schenk (Germany)
7. Bae Youn-Joo (Korea)
8. Cheng Shao-Chieh (Chinese Taipei)
MEN'S DOUBLES:
1. Jung J S/Lee Y D (Korea)
2. Cai Y/Fu H F (China)
3. Ko S H/Yoo Y S (Korea)
4. Boe/Mogensen (Denmark)
5. K.K. Koo/B.H. Tan (Malaysia)
6. Kidho/Setiawan (Indonesia)
7. Fang C M/Lee S M (Chinese Taipei)
8. Mohamad/Septano (Indonesia)
WOMEN'S DOUBLES:
1. Wang X L/Yu Y (China)
2. Tian Q/Zhao Y L (China)
3. Ha J E/Kim M J (Korea)
4. Cheng W H/Chien Y C (Chinese Taipei)
5. Fujii/Kakiiwa (Japan)
6. Maeda/Suetsuna (Japan)
7. E.H. Chin/P.T. Wong (Malaysia)
8. Jung K E/Kim H N (Korea)
MIXED DOUBLES:
1. Zhang N/Zhao Y L (China)
2. Fischer Nielsen/Pedersen (Denmark)
3. Akhmad/Natsir (Indonesia)
4. Xu C/Ma J (China)
5. Prapakamol/Thungthongkam (Thailand)
6. Laybourn/Rytter Juhl (Denmark)
7. Chen H L/Cheng W H (Chinese Taipei)
8. Widianto/Natsir (Indonesia)
WOMEN'S DOUBLES:
1. Wang X L/Yu Y (China)
2. Tian Q/Zhao Y L (China)
3. Ha J E/Kim M J (Korea)
4. Cheng W H/Chien Y C (Chinese Taipei)
5. Fujii/Kakiiwa (Japan)
6. Maeda/Suetsuna (Japan)
7. E.H. Chin/P.T. Wong (Malaysia)
8. Jung K E/Kim H N (Korea)
MIXED DOUBLES:
1. Zhang N/Zhao Y L (China)
2. Fischer Nielsen/Pedersen (Denmark)
3. Akhmad/Natsir (Indonesia)
4. Xu C/Ma J (China)
5. Prapakamol/Thungthongkam (Thailand)
6. Laybourn/Rytter Juhl (Denmark)
7. Chen H L/Cheng W H (Chinese Taipei)
8. Widianto/Natsir (Indonesia)

Matches are played over the best of three games and each game is won by the first player or team to reach 21 points by a margin of two clear points with players scoring a point whenever they win a rally regardless of whether they served. When the server or serving side loses a rally, the serve immediately passes to their opponent. If the score reaches 29-29, the winner of the next point wins the game.

Competitors are divided into four-man/team groups in the preliminary stage and the top 16 group winners in the singles and eight in the doubles reach the knock-out phase.

ALL-TIME MEDAL TABLE:

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