It was a Wednesday, the time about a quarter to 6pm.
The date – 5 June, 1985.
The venue – Palast Hotel, Berlin.
Badminton was finally a medal sport at the Olympic Games.
A journey 20 years in the making culminated in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) deciding unanimously at its 90th Session that the sport would be included in the Barcelona 92 programme. At the time however, the host city was not confirmed.
IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch delivered the news to International Badminton Federation (now Badminton World Federation) ex-president Craig Reedie, to the delight of millions who followed the sport religiously.
Reedie later said: “We now have the greatest single opportunity we have ever had to develop badminton into one of the leading sports in the world.”
The campaign for badminton’s inclusion in the Summer Games was initiated in 1965. It featured as a one-day demonstration sport at Munich 1972, where over 3,000 spectators watched 25 players from 11 nations battle on two courts in a volleyball hall.
The sport was deemed to have had the necessary qualities to be part of the Olympic movement – two excellent world team championships (Thomas and Uber Cups), more than hundred affiliated countries and was developing its continental championships.
After badminton joined the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, international tournaments increased rapidly.
It is believed the turning point came at the 1983 World Championships in Copenhagen, where China participated for the first time.
A young and supremely talented Chinese shuttler Li Lingwei was presented to Queen Margrethe of Denmark as the women’s singles winner and an exhilarating men’s singles final was contested by Indonesians Liem Swie King and Icuk Sugiarto.
Samaranch, present at the venue, was impressed by the organisation, media facilities and crowds, which created an ambience both upmarket and passionate.
And exactly nine years later when the dream materialised in Spain, Samaranch was there again – this time to present the sport’s first Olympic gold medal to Susi Susanti.
Badminton has been part of every Olympic Games since and will feature for the eighth time next month in Tokyo, Japan.