Written by Amir Bashir | 06 May 2022
Whether you’re a professional badminton player or just play the game in your spare time, these fascinating badminton statistics will expand your knowledge of the game as well as the people playing it.
Saina Nehwal from India. Tai Tzi-ying from China. Thailand’s Ratchanok Inatanon. Spain’s Carolina Marin.
These are some of the names you might hear upon putting this question to multiple people: Who is the greatest female badminton player of all time?
However, while all these players have won a bucketload of trophies, they’re still some way short of hitting the heights India’s PV Sindhu has scaled in her trophy-laden career.
Here’s why I’m so sure.
To date, Sindhu has won a grand total of seven medals at the World Championships and Olympic games, which ties her with China’s Zhang Ning as the most decorated women’s singles player ever.
Other than her one gold, two silvers, and two bronzes at the World Championships, Sindhu has two Olympic medals to her name.
She is also only the fourth women’s singles player in history to clinch medals at successive Olympics after Susi Susanti (1992 and 1996), Bang Soo-Hyun (1992 and 1996), and Zhang (2004 and 2008).
Given that she will only be 27 come July 2022, three years younger than the average retirement age in badminton. One could safely assume that by the time Sindhu hangs her racket, she’d have managed many more accolades.
Did you know that badminton is the world’s fastest racket sport?
An average badminton player burns more calories in a 30-minute match than his tennis counterpart running back and forth across the court for two and a half hours.
Most of the credit for that goes to the shuttlecock. Or, to be more precise, to the speed of the shuttlecock. Let’s explain this point with the help of a few examples.
According to Guinness World Records, the fastest moving shuttlecock traveled at a speed of 417 km/hr.
Translated into miles, the figure amounts to 259 miles per hour, a speed that is beyond the limits of many cars in use today.
Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei hit the record-making shot during the final of the Japan Open in September 2017.
It wouldn’t come as surprise to many people that football is currently the most popular participation sport in the world.
Tell the same people that badminton is just behind football in terms of popularity, and it is likely they won’t take you seriously at first.
This isn’t surprising given that badminton is less popular in Europe (where most of the world’s biggest news publications have their head offices) than it is in Asia (where its popularity is scaling new heights with each passing year).
Although official statistics are hard to find, it isn’t unreasonable to assume that India and China, two nations that make up a quarter of the world’s population, would have amateur badminton players in the hundreds of millions.
This was the first time badminton was recognized as a full-medal sport in the Olympics, having been part of the games for two decades.
From 1972 to 1988, badminton held the title of demonstration sport. For the Seoul 1988 Olympics, it got the status of an exhibition sport.
The 1992 games held in Barcelona were the first time badminton players were allowed to compete for a medal at the Olympics.
Like almost every sphere of life, the Chinese have also conquered the game of badminton, leaving other nations in their shadow.
China has so far won 191 medals at the BWF World Championships, 114 more than Indonesia, the 2nd most successful nation in badminton history.
Which, even when you consider that China has over 100 million badminton players (per rough estimates) is a massive achievement.
India’s population is only marginally smaller than China’s, but it has only managed to win 1/10th of China’s medals at the BWF Championships.
In singles and doubles competitions, Chinese women have brought 103 models home, with 36 of them being gold medals.
The Chinese male badminton players, meanwhile, have clinched 54 medals, with 22 gold, 10 silvers, and 22 bronzes.
In fact, while Chinese women sit atop the all-time medal count in singles and doubles categories, their male counterparts occupy the 2nd spot in the men’s doubles.
When the Badminton World Federation released its World Ranking List in March 2021, one thing caught the keen-eyed observers by surprise.
Denmark, a country with a population of 5.8 million, had the same number of players in the world top 50 (24) as India — a country with 1.3 billion people.
This wasn’t an anomaly for Denmark has won more gold medals than India at the World Championships (10.5 vs. 1) and the Olympics (2 vs 0) despite having a population smaller than Mumbai’s.
How come Denmark is doing such an excellent job?
There are over 650 badminton clubs in Demark where players from ages 5 to 65 play the game at their own level.
Players who excel at the club level are brought together at the national training center in Copenhagen where all the best players from around the country meet daily for training sessions under the supervision of their coaches.
This, in turn, creates an elite environment where the best players interact and compete with each other, helping Denmark produce players that compete — and occasionally beat — their fellow best players from around the world.
Use the badminton statistics shared in this article to test the knowledge of your friends next time you’re part of a pub quiz.
Now I want to hear from you:
Feel free to reach out to me in the comments section below, I’d love to answer your questions and hear your feedback. We are also on Instagram @healthyprinciples_.
Amir picked up his first badminton racket at the age of 4 and fell in love with the sport. He joined Healthy Principles to help his fellow badminton enthusiasts get better at the game. In his spare time, you'll find him watching long rallies on YouTube. Learn more about Amir Bashir.