Brief History of Badminton

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The exact origin of the game, tracing back to ancient Greece and China more than 2000 years ago, is shrouded in mystery.  It is believed that the game descended directly from the ancient game of battledore and shuttlecock.  This was primarily a children's game although 19th century illustrations show adults playing it mostly in the garden and sometimes indoors.  Battledore and shuttlecock has been described as a leisurely pastime whereby players count the number of hits and try to keep the shuttlecock up in the air as long as possible. 

There is also some dispute about how modern day badminton started.  One claim is that it started in England at Badminton House in Gloucestershire in the middle of the 19th century.  A net, in the form of a string, was strung across to separate the players from two opposing teams.  A rival claim has it that the game was first played by the British in India in the 1870s before it was brought back to Britain by returning army officers.  The first attempt to establish the rules of the game was made around that time in Poona, India.  But no formal rules were drawn up until the Badminton Association (of England) was formed in 1893.

The Badminton World Federation
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) formerly International Badminton Federation (IBF) was formed in 1934.  The founder members were England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Holland, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada and France.  Today, the BWF has more than 130 member countries from five continental confederations - the African Badminton Federation, the Asian Badminton Confederation, the European Badminton Union, the Oceania Badminton Confederation and the Pan-American Badminton Confederation.

The Thomas Cup
The first tournament was held at the Queen's Hall in Preston in February 1949.  The late Sir George Thomas, founder president of the BWF, donated the Thomas Cup trophy .  Malaya won the first competition when they defeated Denmark 8-1 in the final.  Since then, the Cup has stayed with three Asian countries.  Indonesia has won it a record 12 times, followed by Malaysia (five times) and China (four times).  Denmark has reached the final on six occasions but has never won it.  For the first 12 series until 1982, the Thomas Cup was held once every three years.  Since 1984, the competition has been staged every two years.  The playing format was also changed from the best of nine matches over two days to best of five over one day.

The Uber Cup
The first Uber Cup competition was held at Lytham St. Annes in Lancashire, Britain, in 1957 following calls to organise an international team championship for women similar to the Thomas Cup.  The Uber Cup trophy was donated by Mrs H.S Uber.  The United States won the first tournament when they defeated Denmark 6-1 in the final.  The Uber Cup was held every three years until 1984.  Since 1986, the tournament has been held every two years.  Only four countries - the USA, Japan, China and Indonesia - have managed to win the Uber Cup.

International competitions
Badminton's introduction as a model sport at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics served proof of the game's progress and increasing popularity.  Four events - the men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles and women's doubles - were held at Barcelona.  At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the mixed doubles event was added.  The World Junior Championships, now biennial affair, was also inaugurated in 1992 at Jakarta.  The World Championships was started much earlier at Malmo in 1977.  After the World Championships was subsequently held at Jakarta in 1980 and Copenhagen in 1983, it has also become a biennial affair since 1985 when it was held at Calgary.  The World Cup, held every year, was started in 1981 while the present World Grand Prix Circuit - culminating with the World GP Final every year - began in 1983.

Year Winner  beat Runner Up Scores Played at
1949 Malay vs Denmark 8-1 Preston
1952 Malaya  vs USA 7-2 Singapore
1955 Malaya vs Denmark 8-1 Singapore
1958 Indonesia  vs Malaya 6-3 Singapore
1961 Indonesia  vs Thailand 6-3 Jakarta
1964 Indonesia  vs Denmark 5-4 Tokyo
1967 Malaysia  vs Indonesia 6-3 Jakarta
1970 Indonesia  vs Malaysia 7-2 Kuala Lumpur
1973 Indonesia  vs Denmark 8-1 Jakarta
1976 Indonesia  vs Malaysia 9-0 Bangkok
1979 Indonesia  vs Denmark 9-0 Jakarta
1982 China  vs Indonesia 5-4 London
1984 Indonesia  vs China 3-2 Kuala Lumpur
1986 China  vs Indonesia 3-2 Jakarta
1988 China  vs Malaysia 4-1 Kuala Lumpur
1990 China  vs Malaysia 4-1 Tokyo
1992 Malaysia  vs Indonesia 3-2 Kuala Lumpur
1994 Indonesia  vs Malaysia 3-0 Jakarta
1996 Indonesia  vs Denmark 5-0 Hongkong
1998 Indonesia  vs Malaysia 3-2 Hongkong
2000 Indonesia  vs China 3-0 Kuala Lumpur
2002 Indonesia vs Malaysia 3-2 Guangzhou
2004 China vs Denmark 3-1 Jakarta
2006 China vs Denmark 3-0 Sendai/Tokyo
2008 China vs Korea 3-1 Jakarta
2010 China vs Indonesia 3-0 Kuala Lumpur
2012 China vs Korea 3-0 Wuhan
2014 Japan vs Malaysia 3-2 New Delhi
2016 Denmark vs Indonesia 3-2 Kunshan, China

Year Winner beat  Runner Up Scores Played at
1957 USA  vs Denmark 6-1 St Annes
1960 USA vs Denmark 5-2 Phil
1963 USA  vs England 4-3 Wilming
1966 Japan  vs USA 5-2 Wellington
1969 Japan  vs Indonesia 6-1 Tokyo
1972 Japan vs Indonesia 6-1 Tokyo
1975 Indonesia vs Japan 5-2 Jakarta
1978 Japan  vs Indonesia 5-2 Auckland
1981 Japan  vs Indonesia 6-3 Tokyo
1984 China  vs England 5-0 Kuala Lumpur
1986 China  vs Indonesia 3-2 Jakarta
1988 China  vs South Korea 5-0 Kuala Lumpur
1990 China  vs South Korea 3-2 Tokyo
1992 China  vs South Korea 3-2 Kuala Lumpur
1994 Indonesia vs China 3-2 Jakarta
1996 Indonesia vs China 4-1 Hongkong
1998 China  vs Indonesia 4-1 Hongkong
2000 China  vs Denmark 3-0 Kuala Lumpur
2002 China vs Korea 3-1 Guangzhou
2004 China vs Korea 3-1 Jakarta
2006 China vs Netherlands 3-0 Sendai/Tokyo
2008 China vs Indonesia 3-0 Jakarta
2010 Korea vs China 3-1 Kuala Lumpur
2012 China vs Korea 3-0 Wuhan
2014 China vs Japan 3-1 New Delhi
2016 China vs Korea 3-1 Kunshan, China

OLYMPIC GAMES (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, 2016 Rio DeJenero)
Year Men's Singles Women's Singles
Gold Medalists Gold Medalists
1992 Alan Budi Kesuma (Indonesia) Susi Susanti (Indonesia)
1996 Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen (Denmark) Bang Soo-hyun (Korea)
2000 Xinpang Ji (China) Gong Zhichao (China)
2004 Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia Zhang Ning (China)
2008 Lin Dan (China) Zhang Ning (China)
2012 Lin Dan (China) Li Xeurui (China)
Silver Medalists Silver Medalists
1992 Ardy Wiranata (Indonesia) Bang Soo-hyun (Korea)
1996 Dong Jiong (China) Mia Audina (Indonesia)
2000 Hendrawan (Indonesia) Camilla Martin (Denmark)
2004 Shon Seung Mo (Korea) Mia Audina (Netherland)
2008 Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) Xie Xingfeng (China)
2012 Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) Wang Yihan (China)
Bronze Medalists Bronze Medalists
1992 Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen (Denmark) Huang Hua (China)
Hermawan Susanto (Indonesia) Tang Jiuhong (China)
1996 Rashid Sidek (Malaysia) Susi Susanti (Indonesia)
2000 Xuanze Xia (China) Zhaoying Ye (China)
2004 Soni Dewi Kuncoro (Indonesia) Zhou Mi (China)
2008 Chen Jin (China) Maria Kristin Yulianti (Indonesia)
2012 Chen Long (China) Saina Nehwal (India)
4th Place 4th Place
1996 Heryanto Arbi (Indonesia) Kim Ji-hyun (Korea)
2000 Peter Gade (Denmark) Dai Yun (China)
2004 Boonsak Ponsana (Thailand) Gong Ruina (China)
2008 Lee Hyunil (Korea) Lu Lan (China)
2012 Lee Hyunil (Korea) Wang Xin (China)
Men's Doubles Women's Doubles
Gold Medalists Gold Medalists
1992 Park Joo-bong/Kim Moon-soo (Korea) Hwang Hye-young/Chung So-young (Korea)
1996 Ricky Subagia/Rexy Mainaky (Indonesia) Ge Fei/Gu Yun (China)
2000 Tony Gunawan / Candra Wijaya (Indonesia) Ge Fei/Gu Yun (China)
2004 Kim Dong Moon/Ha Tae Kwon (Korea) Zhang Jie Wien/Yang Wei (China)
2008 Mirkis Kido/Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia) Du Jing/Yu Yang (China)
2012 Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng (China) Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlai (China)
Silver Medalists Silver Medalists
1992 Eddy Hartono/Rudy Gunawan (Indonesia) Guan Weizhen/Nong Qunhua (China)
1996 Cheah Soon Kit/Yap Kim Hock (Malaysia) Gil Young-ah/Jang Hye-ock (Korea)
2000 Dong Soo Lee / Yoo Yong Sung (Korea) Nanyan Huang / Wei Yang (China)
2004 Lee Dong Soo/Yoo Yong Sung (Korea)  Huang Sui/Gao Ling (China)
2008 Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng (China) Lee Kyungwon/Lee Hyojung (Korea)
2012 Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (Denmark) Mizuki Fujii/ReikaKakiiwa (Japan)
Bronze Medalists Bronze Medalists
1992 Li Yongbo/Tian Bingyi (China) Gil Young-ah/Shim Eun-jung (Korea)
Jalani Sidek/Razil Sidek (Malaysia) Lin Yanfen/Yao Fen (China)
1996 Soo Beng Kiang/Tan Kim Her (Malaysia) Qin Yiyuan/Tang Yongshu (China)
2000 Tae Kwon Ha / Dong Moon Kim (Korea) Ling Gao / Yiyuan Qin (China)
2004 Eng Hian/Flandi Lempele (Indonesia) Ra Kyung Min/Lee Kyung Min (Korea)
2008 Lee Jaejin/Hwang Jiman (Korea) Wei Yili/Zhang Yawen (China)
2012 Chung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae (Korea) Valeri Sorokina/Nina Vislova (Russia)
4th Place 4th Place
1996 Denny Kantono/S. Antonius (Indonesia) Helene Kirkegaard/Rikke Olsen (Denmark)
2000 Tan Fook Choong / Wan Wah Lee (Malaysia) Jae Hee Chung / Kyung Min Ra (Korea)
2004 Jens Eriksen/Martin Lundgaard (Denmark) Zhao Ting Ting/Wei Yi Li (China)
2008 Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen (Denmark) Maeda Miyuki/Suetsuna Satoko (Japan)
2012 Koo Kian Kiat/Tan Boon Hong (Malaysia Alex Bruce/Michelle Li (Canada)
Mixed Doubles .
Gold Medalists .
1992 No event .
1996 Kim Dong-moon/Gil Young-ah (Korea) .
2000 Jun Zhang / Ling Gao (China) .
2004 Zhang Jun/Gao Ling (China) .
2008 Lee Yongdae / Lee Hyojung (Korea) .
2012 Zhang Nan.Zhao Yunlai (China)
Silver Medalists .
1992 No Event .
1996 Park Joo-bong/Ra Kyung-min (Korea) .
2000 Tri Kusharyanto / Minarti Timur (Indonesia) .
2004 Nathan Robertson/Gail Emms (Great Britain) .
2008 Nova Widianto / Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia)
2012 Xu Chen/Ma Jin (China)
Bronze Medalists ,
1992 No Event .
1996 Lin Jianjun/Sun Man (China) .
2000 Simon Archer / Joanne Goode (Great Britain) .
2004 Jens Eriksen (Denmark)
Mette Schjoldager (Denmark)
2008 He Hanbin / Yu Yang (China) .
2012 Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (Denmark) .
4th Place .
1992 No Event
1996 Chen Xingdong/Peng Xingyong (China)
2000 Michael Sogaard / Rikke Olsen (Denmark)
2004 Jonas Rasmussen (Denmark)
Rikke Olsen (Denmark)
2008 Flandy Limpele / Vita Marisa (Indonesia)
2012 Tantowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia)