10 Record Breaking Badminton Facts
Badminton evolved in British India in the 19th century from the game of battledore and shuttlecock. Modern badminton is most popular in Asia, although European nations – primarily Denmark – are also among the world’s top badminton nations. How many of these interesting badminton facts did you know?
- The fastest badminton stroke on record was set by Malaysian player Lee Chong Wei in 2015: Playing at the Hong Kong Open, Lee fired a smash at 253 miles per hour (408 kilometres per hour).
- For comparison purposes, the fastest ever stroke in tennis was only 163.4 miles per hour (263 kilometres per hour).
- The premier world badminton events are the men’s Thomas Cup, and the women’s Uber Cup: These tournaments invite the world’s best players and are held bi-annually.
- The Thomas Cup began in 1948, and since that time it has been dominated by Asian teams: Indonesia has claimed 13 victories, while China (9 wins) and Malaysia (5 wins) make up second and third, respectively.
- The only non-Asian team to enjoy victory at the Thomas Cup was Denmark: The Danish team triumphed at the most recent event held in 2016 in Kunshan, China. Denmark had finished in the runner-up position 8 times in previous tournaments.
- The Uber Cup was first contested in 1957, and similar to the Thomas Cup, the winning teams have been dominated by Asian nations: China has claimed 14 victories, with Japan (5) and Indonesia (3) trailing behind. The United States also has 3 Uber Cup victories, but the last one was in 1963.
- Since 1998, the Uber Cup has been almost entirely dominated by the Chinese team: With the exception of 2010, when South Korea claimed their first victory, the Chinese team has won every tournament.
- While the name “Uber Cup” sounds like an advertising sponsorship for a well-known ride sharing company, it actually refers to a pioneer of the sport: Betty Uber was an English badminton and tennis player who came up with the idea of starting a women’s version of the Thomas Cup.
- The Badminton World Federation also holds an annual competition known as the BWF World Championships: This tournament involves players entering individually and also in doubles.
- China has absolutely dominated the BWF World Championships, with Chinese players winning 174 medals – 63 of them gold – since the tournament was first held in 1977: Indonesian players rank a distant second, with a total of 73 medals and 22 golds.