With a total of 172 competitors in 5 events, there is plenty to break down in the race for Olympic badminton medals in Tokyo.
China has won 18 gold medals from a potential 34 since badminton was first introduced into the Olympic Games in Barcelona 1992, achieving 41 medals in total. The power balance, however, is starting to shift, with Japan looking to snatch the crown as the dominant badminton nation.
So what are the key battles in each discipline?
In men’s singles Chen Long is the only defending champion competing at Tokyo, but will face stiff competition against Japanese sensation Kento Momota and Victor Axelson from Denmark.
Reigning champion Carolina Marin will not be competing in the women’s singles after suffering a cruel knee injury. Undoubtedly the most unpredictable discipline, there are so many contenders for gold. At the front of the long queue will be Japan’s own Nozomi Okuhara and Akane Yamaguci, alongside India’s PV Singhu, Tai Tzu Ying from Chinese Taipei, Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, South Korea’s An Se Young and China’s Chen Yufei.
In the ever popular men’s doubles category the Indonesian entertainers Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo – also known as the minions – will be gunning for gold, however Japan will be hot on their heels in the form of Yuta Watanabe and Endo Hiroyuki. Gold medalist from Beijing 2008, Hendra Setiawan also still poses a threat with fellow Indonesian veteran Mohammad Ahsan.
Once again, Japan pose a serious threat in the women’s doubles with the pairing of Hirota & Fukushima seeded #1 and compatriots Matsumoto & Nagahara seeded #3. The other most notable challenge should come from the Chinese pairing of Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan.
The Chinese pair of Zheng Si Wei & Huang Ya Qiong are favourites to take the mixed doubles title but will be challenged by the in form Puavaranukroh & Taerattanachai from Thailand, as well as the popular home pairing of Watanabe & Higashino.
Passionate badminton players David and Stuart, who run the specialist online retailer BadmintonHQ.co.uk, can’t hide their excitement for the start of the games, and hope that the TV exposure will entice more people to take up the fastest racket sport in the world, commenting:
‘We really hope this Olympic Games creates a buzz about badminton, with people watching at home, many of whom here in the UK, will probably have never seen the sport on the TV before. Personally, it’s going to be really exciting to watch Kento Momota competing in the mens’ singles again but of course we’ll also be cheering on all of Team GB!’
Whatever happens in Tokyo, badminton history will be made and new champions will be crowned, and after a difficult last 18 months, victory will most likely taste even sweeter.
BadmintonHQ.co.uk is a family owned business in Romsey, Hampshire, run by badminton specialists with a long history of both playing and coaching. With its experience and expertise, BadmintonHQ.co.uk can offer honest advice on products, via phone, email or the live chat service available on their website.
Company Name: Skates
Contact Person: David Tuttlebee
Email: Send Email
Phone: +44 (0) 2380002388
Address:Unit 1 Greatbridge Business Park
Country: United Kingdom