Yes. Badminton premiered as a full-medal Olympic sport at the
1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain and was again featured at
the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. At the Sydney Olympic Games in
2000, badminton continues as a full-medal sport.
Pan American Games Sport?
Yes. Badminton was included for the first time in the XII Pan
American Games, March 11-26, 1995 in Mar del Plata/Buenos Aires,
Argentina. Badminton will also be contested in 1999 at the XIII
Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed
doubles. All the events are Olympic events with the Mixed Doubles
being included in the Olympic Games for the first time in Atlanta
Top World Athletes?
No. 1 ranked men's singles player( as of November 26, 1996): Joko
Suprianto of Indonesia; women's singles: Mia Audina (Indonesia);
men's doubles: Denny Kantono and Antonius Iriantho (Indonesia);
women's doubles: Indarti Isoliana and Denyana Lomban (Indonesia);
mixed doubles: Tri Kusharynto and Minarti Timur (Indonesia)
1996 Olympic Champions?
Men's singles: Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen (Denmark); women's singles:
Bang Soo Hyun (Korea); men's doubles: Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky
(Indonesia); women's doubles: Ge Fei and Gu Jun (China); mixed doubles:
Kim Dong Moon and Gil Young Ah (Korea)
Top U.S. Athletes?
Kevin Han (Colorado Springs, Colorado) - top American in the world
rankings (65 in men's singles as of November 26,1996; was ranked as
high as 28 before the 1996 Olympic Games)
Final rankings after '94-'95 season - No. 1 ranked men's singles:
Kevin Han (Colorado Springs, Colo.); women's singles: Kathy
Zimmerman (Denver, Colo.); men's doubles: Kevin Han/Tom Reidy
(Brooklyn, N.Y.); women's doubles: Linda French (Elmhurst,
Ill.)/Erika Von Heiland (Anaheim, Calif.); mixed doubles: Linda
French/Mike Edstrom (Denver Colo.)
Indonesia occupies all the top positions in the November 26, 1996
world rankings. In men's doubles, 4 of the top 10 are from Indonesia
as are 3 of the top 10 women's singles players and 2 each of the top
ten men's singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles players or pairs.
Other dominant countries are China (with 5 of the top ten women's singles
players, 3 in men's singles, 2 in women's doubles and 1 each in the men's
and mixed doubles), Malaysia (with 2 of the top ten men's singles players
and 1 in men's doubles), Korea (with 1 player or pair in the top ten in
women's singles and men's, women's and mixed doubles), and Denmark (with
3 top ten pairs in women's doubles, 2 in the mixed doubles, 2 players in
the ten in men's singles and 1 in women's singles as well as 1 pair in the
Between 1949-1967, the United States largely dominated the sport,
winning the equivalent of 23 world individual championships (one
men's singles, 12 women's singles, one men's doubles, eight women's
doubles, and one mixed doubles) and three women's world team
championships. The U.S. men's team was also world runner-up
during this period. Although America's international success has
declined since the 1970s, the current U.S. squad is one of the
most promising up-and-coming teams in world badminton. The
United States qualified six athletes (maximum allowed for one
country) for the 1992 Olympic Games, and won a total of five
medals at badminton's inaugural appearance at the 1995 Pan American
Games. In 1996, three players qualified.
International Games To Shoot For?
Olympic Games, Thomas and Uber Cup (World Team Championships for
men and women, respectively, held every even year), World
Championships (held every odd year), Sudirman Cup (World Mixed Team
Championships, held every odd year), Pan American Games (very four
years), U.S. Open.
Professional or Amateur?
The International Badminton Federation's World Grand Prix
Circuit, started in the 1980s, turned a primarily amateur sport
into a professional one. The highest paying Grand Prix
tournament, the U.S. Open, awards $200,000 in prize money. The
Grand Prix Finals, a tournament of champions, has a purse of
The USBA Classic Series is America's own "Grand Prix Circuit," in
which top U.S. players compete in five regional tournaments for a
minimum of $2,000 in prize money per event.
National Governing Body?
USA Badminton (formerly known as the United States Badminton Association
in Colorado Springs, Colorado). The association was established in 1936.
It is a full-member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
International Badminton Federation (IBF) headquatered in Gloucestershire,
England, established in 1934.
Over 2,700 members belong to the USBA (as of January 1996).
However, the USBA estimates there are thousands more recreational
badminton players in the United States.
The IBF has 130 member associations around the world, with more
than 14 million members.
There are 503 high school interscholastic badminton programs in
the United States. The USBA's major grassroots program is the
"Target-2004 Junior Development Program," consisting of eleven
regional junior programs across the United States.
Modern badminton began as "poona" in India. In the 1860s it was
adopted by British Army officers stationed in India. The
officers took the game back to England, where it became a success
at a party given by the Duke of Beaufort at his estate called
"Badminton" in Gloucestershire. The first badminton club in this
country, the Badminton Club of New York, was formed in 1878.
National Events To Shoot For?
U.S. Junior National Championships, U.S. Adult National
Championships, U.S. Senior National Championships, USBA Classics.
Badminton is one the world's fastest racket sports, requiring
quick reflexes and superb conditioning. In a badminton smash,
the shuttlecock has been timed at speeds over 200 m.p.h. in top
Badminton is a highly aerobic sport which can be played
throughout one's lifetime. In a typical two-game match, a player
run approximately one mile.
A 1993 study revealed that more than 1.2 million Americans play
badminton at least 25 times a year, 760,000 Americans call
badminton their favorite sport, and more than 11.2 million
Americans played the sport at least once during the year.
Internationally, more than 1.1 billion people watched the 1992
Olympic badminton competition on television.
Tennis vs. Badminton
Statistics Don't Lie
The speed and the stamina required for badminton are far greater
than for any other racket sport. At the 1985 All England
(Tennis) Championships, Boris Becker defeated Kevin Curren 6-3,
6-7, 7-6, 6-4. At the 1985 World Badminton Championships in
Calgary, Canada, Han Jian of China defeated Morten Frost of
Denmark, 14-18, 15-10, 15-8. The following is a statistical
comparison of those matches.
Time: Tennis, 3 hours and 18 minutes. Badminton, 1 hour and 16
Ball/Shuttle in Play: Tennis, 18 minutes. Badminton, 37
Match Intensity*: Tennis, 9 percent. Badminton, 48 percent.
Rallies: Tennis 299. Badminton, 146.
Shots: Tennis, 1,004. Badminton, 1,972.
Shots Per Rally: Tennis, 3.4. Badminton, 13.5.
Distance Covered: Tennis, 2 miles. Badminton, 4 miles.
Note that the badminton players competed for half the time, yet
ran twice as far and hit nearly twice as many shots.
*The actual time the ball/shuttle was in flight, divided by the
length of the match.
Submitted by the USBA. 16FEB96
Updated by the IGPB. 28NOV96