28 July to 5 August.
Lin Dan: Widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, the Chinese star and reigning men's singles champion is likely to be many people's favourite for gold again. Lin also has four World Championship golds to his name but Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, possibly the all-time number two, is a formidable rival.
Zhang Ning: The only player to have won consecutive Olympic singles titles having triumphed in the women's events in 2004 and 2008. The Chinese star retired after producing a determined performance to beat countrywoman and then world number one Xie Xingfang to retain her title at the Beijing Games. She is now a coach.
Lin Dan lived up to the expectations of around one billion Chinese at Beijing but it was a different story in Athens four years earlier. Lin, then a precocious 21-year-old, went to Greece as the top seed but succumbed to the pressure as he slumped to a first-round loss to unheralded Singapore player Roland Susilo.
DID YOU KNOW?
Badminton was first played by British military officers in the Indian town of Poona in the 19th Century when they added a net to the ancient game of battledore (bat) and shuttlecock. It adopted its name after the game was taken to the Duke of Gloucestershire's Badminton House residence.