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Guide to badminton at the Olympics

Updated: Wednesday, 27 Jun 2012 18:40

Scott Evans is Ireland's male hope in badminton
Scott Evans is Ireland's male hope in badminton

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.

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.


Medal Table

Country Total
USA 45 27 30 102
China 38 28 23 89
Great Britain 29 17 19 65
Russia 25 25 32 82
South Korea 13 8 7 28
Ireland 1 1 3 5
Full Table

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