Badminton’s Most Successful Olympians

Since making its debut at Barcelona 92, badminton has featured at seven Olympic Games in total.

In that period, 106 medals (34 gold, 34 silver, 38 bronze) have been awarded to 130 medallists from 11 countries.

With one year to go to Tokyo 2020, we look at the only players who have won three or more medals on what is often called “the biggest stage of all”.

4 medals
Gao Ling (China)
Olympic appearance: Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008

Gao Ling (left) and Zhang Jun during a match at Beijing 2008.

The most successful shuttler in Olympic history, the doubles specialist is the sole player on this list with four medals. The Chinese great walked away with the mixed doubles title with partner Zhang Jun at her first Olympic outing and they followed that up with another gold four years later in Athens. Famous for her smile, Gao also won women’s doubles bronze in 2000 and silver in 2004.

3 medals
Fu Haifeng (China)
Olympic appearance: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016

Fu (left) and Cai Yun celebrate their victory in 2012.

The doubles icon medalled at three editions, twice with regular men’s doubles sidekick Cai Yun. The feared duo fell short in a tight final at home in 2008 to Indonesians Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan but made amends in London four years later. Fu then partnered Zhang Nan to defend his title in Rio.

3 medals
Zhang Nan (China)
Olympic appearance: London 2012, Rio 2016

Zhang (right) and Fu pose with their medals in Rio.

Zhang Nan’s maiden success came on debut in mixed doubles with Zhao Yunlei. The pair saw off the same opponents Xu Chen/Ma Jin for bronze in Rio, where Zhang also found success in men’s doubles with Fu Haifeng after an intense 70-minute battle with Malaysians Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong.

3 medals
Zhao Yunlei (China)
Olympic appearance: London 2012, Rio 2016

Zhao Yunlei (right) and Tian Qing show off their gold medals at London 2012.

Zhao remains the only shuttler to have won two gold medals at the same edition, with success in mixed and women’s doubles in 2012. She also bagged a mixed doubles bronze at her last Olympic appearance in 2016.

3 medals
Kim Dong Moon (Korea)
Olympic appearance: Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004

Kim (right) and his old partner Ra Kyung Min.

Kim is revered in his home nation – he is the only Korean with two Olympic gold (mixed doubles with Gil Young Ah and men’s doubles with Ha Tae Kwon). There was a gap of eight years between his first and second triumphs, which he compensated for with a men’s doubles bronze in 2000.

3 medals
Gil Young Ah (Korea)
Olympic appearance: Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996

Gil (front) won her three medals across two editions.

Gil’s Olympic record is unique – she has one medal in each colour. Having taken women’s doubles bronze in 1992 with Shim Eun Jung, she improvised at the next edition to add gold in mixed doubles and silver in women’s doubles with Jang Hye Ock.

3 medals
Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
Olympic appearance: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016

Lee (left) on the podium in Rio with his fellow men’s singles medallists.

Denied twice, first by great rival Lin Dan and then Chen Long, Lee is the only shuttler in history with three back-to-back Olympic silver medals.

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