Olympic Legacies: Top Seeds Who Struck Gold

In each of the seven Olympic Games featuring badminton, at least one event saw the top seed rise to the highest step of the podium.

Let’s have a look at who they are.

BARCELONA 92

WS: Susi Susanti

Susanti advanced without dropping a game but was pushed to three in the final by Bang Soo Hyun. Bang took the first game comfortably (11-5) before Susanti staged a comeback to win the sport’s first ever Olympic gold.

MD: Kim Moon Soo/Park Joo Bong

The final came down to world champions Kim/Park facing Eddy Hartono/Rudy Gunawan, the All England winners a few months prior, with the Koreans triumphing 15-11 15-7.

WD: Hwang Hye Young/Chung So Young

Hwang/Chung and their final opponents, Guan Weizhen and Nong Qunhua of China, won their first three matches easily. The first game of the final was an 18-16 marathon, with Hwang/Chung prevailing. The decider was close, Korea needed five match points before winning 15-13.

Susi Susanti celebrates on the podium at Barcelona 1992.

ATLANTA 96

MD: Ricky Subagja/Rexy Mainaky

The final featured arguably the most famous rivalry of that era – Subagja/Mainaky versus Cheah Soon Kit/Yap Kim Hock. The Malaysians stormed ahead 11-1 in the first game, winning 15-5. But the Indonesians stayed calmed to win the next two closely-fought games 15-13 15-12.

SYDNEY 2000

WS: Gong Zhichao

The top two seeds Gong and Dane Camilla Martin made the final as expected. The Chinese star faced some resistance in the first game before winning 13-10. She cruised to the second 11-3.

MD: Tony Gunawan/Candra Wijaya

This final also featured the top two seeds, with Wijaya/Gunawan reigning supreme over world champions Lee Dong Soo/Yoo Yong Sung 15-10 9-15 15-7 following a battle that lasted 77 minutes.

WD: Ge Fei/Gu Jun

The Chinese pair, defending champions from four years earlier, romped to the title again without losing a game. The final against compatriots Huang Nanyan/Yang Wei was over in just 35 minutes. In winning, Ge and Gu became badminton’s first repeat winners at the Olympics.

Ge Fei (left) and Gu Jun were the most accomplished women’s pair of their generation.

ATHENS 2004

WD: Zhang Jiewen/Yang Whei

Having failed in her first attempt, Yang returned to take the crown with new partner Zhang. In an all-Chinese final, they defeated Huang Sui and Gao Ling 7-15 15-4 15-8.

BEIJING 2008

MS: Lin Dan

A pumped-up Lin Dan took his first Olympic gold in ruthless fashion, seeing off Lee Chong Wei, who would go on to become his greatest rival, 21-12 21-8, in front of a raucous crowd.

MD: Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan

The Indonesian tandem justified their seeding, overcoming home favourites Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng despite losing the first game 21-12. Kido/Setiawan would bounce back to win 21-11 21-16.

LONDON 2012

MD: Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng

Cai/Fu atoned for the near-miss in Beijing by cruising to the gold medal, winning all their matches in straight games. The final was a 21-16 21-15 victory over Danes Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen.

XD: Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei

World No.1s Zhang and Zhao outmatched Chinese compatriots Xu Chen/Ma Jin to record a dominant 21-11 21-17 win.

Zhang and Zhao had exceptional partnership.

RIO 2016

WS: Carolina Marin

Marin had little issues reaching the final, where she gave away the first game 21-19 to ninth seed Pusarla V Sindhu. The Spaniard upped her game to win the remaining duels 21-12 21-15 and become the first female shuttler from Europe to win gold.

WD: Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi

In an intense three-gamer, Matsutomo and Takahashi held firm against Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark to gift Japan its first Olympic gold.

Marin, in tears, embraces Pusarla after her momentous achievement in Brazil.

Olympic and Paralympic News

First-Time Nations Make Strong Impression

First-Time Nations Make Strong Impression

5 August 2021
What Keeps Them Ticking?

What Keeps Them Ticking?

4 August 2021
Olympic Gold, New Shirt and Royal Favour

Olympic Gold, New Shirt and Royal Favour

3 August 2021
Axelsen Scales Olympic Summit

Axelsen Scales Olympic Summit

3 August 2021
‘Just Run With Me’

‘Just Run With Me’

2 August 2021
Chen Reclaims Crown for China

Chen Reclaims Crown for China

2 August 2021
Masterclass from Chen; Lin Dan’s Record in Sight

Masterclass from Chen; Lin Dan’s Record in Sight

1 August 2021
How Cordon Left Home at 12 to Chase Olympic Dream

How Cordon Left Home at 12 to Chase Olympic Dream

1 August 2021
Lee/Wang Ensure Golden Day for Chinese Taipei

Lee/Wang Ensure Golden Day for Chinese Taipei

31 July 2021
Tai Puts On a Show

Tai Puts On a Show

31 July 2021
Olympic Redemption after Personal Tragedy for Greysia Polii

Olympic Redemption after Personal Tragedy for Greysia Polii

31 July 2021
Cordon Scores a Win for the Ages

Cordon Scores a Win for the Ages

31 July 2021
Chinese Taipei Savour Special Day

Chinese Taipei Savour Special Day

30 July 2021
Challengers Upstage Favourites

Challengers Upstage Favourites

30 July 2021
He Bing Jiao Outwits Okuhara; Sets Up All-China Semifinal

He Bing Jiao Outwits Okuhara; Sets Up All-China Semifinal

30 July 2021
Cordon’s Dream Run Continues

Cordon’s Dream Run Continues

29 July 2021
Lee/Wang’s Landmark for Chinese Taipei

Lee/Wang’s Landmark for Chinese Taipei

29 July 2021
On-Fire Malaysians Trip Indonesia’s Minions

On-Fire Malaysians Trip Indonesia’s Minions

29 July 2021
Beiwen Zhang Retires Hurt with Achilles Tendon Injury

Beiwen Zhang Retires Hurt with Achilles Tendon Injury

29 July 2021
Kento Momota Crashes Out

Kento Momota Crashes Out

28 July 2021
Kevin Cordon Stuns Angus

Kevin Cordon Stuns Angus

28 July 2021
Intanon Survives Scare from Soniia Cheah

Intanon Survives Scare from Soniia Cheah

28 July 2021
Win or Lose, Nguyen Wants to Do Migrant Parents Proud

Win or Lose, Nguyen Wants to Do Migrant Parents Proud

28 July 2021
Hong Kong China, Japan in Semifinals

Hong Kong China, Japan in Semifinals

28 July 2021
Dwicahyo Ensures Azerbaijan’s Bright Debut

Dwicahyo Ensures Azerbaijan’s Bright Debut

27 July 2021
Coelho: I Worked Five Years for This Moment

Coelho: I Worked Five Years for This Moment

27 July 2021
Lee/Wang Outplay Minions; Australian Surprise for Danes

Lee/Wang Outplay Minions; Australian Surprise for Danes

27 July 2021
An Iranian Experiences Her Moment of Olympic Glory

An Iranian Experiences Her Moment of Olympic Glory

26 July 2021
Tang/Tse Clinch Thriller to Make Quarterfinals

Tang/Tse Clinch Thriller to Make Quarterfinals

26 July 2021
Christie Vows to Honour Late Brother’s Memory

Christie Vows to Honour Late Brother’s Memory

25 July 2021
Danes Blow Group C Wide Open

Danes Blow Group C Wide Open

25 July 2021
Emotional Okuhara Inspired by Champion Judoka

Emotional Okuhara Inspired by Champion Judoka

25 July 2021
Zilberman Aces Test at Praneeth’s Expense

Zilberman Aces Test at Praneeth’s Expense

24 July 2021
Impressive Show by Aram Mahmoud

Impressive Show by Aram Mahmoud

24 July 2021
Tokyo 2020 Preview: Element of Unpredictability

Tokyo 2020 Preview: Element of Unpredictability

23 July 2021
Tokyo 2020: Flying the Flag for Nation and Badminton

Tokyo 2020: Flying the Flag for Nation and Badminton

23 July 2021
Tokyo 2020: A Parliamentarian at the Olympics

Tokyo 2020: A Parliamentarian at the Olympics

22 July 2021
Tokyo 2020 Preview: Group D On Knife Edge

Tokyo 2020 Preview: Group D On Knife Edge

22 July 2021
The Fulfilment of a 10-Year Promise

The Fulfilment of a 10-Year Promise

21 July 2021
Tokyo 2020 Preview: The Promise of Fireworks

Tokyo 2020 Preview: The Promise of Fireworks

21 July 2021
Olympic Legacies: Immortality Awaits Evergreen Setiawan

Olympic Legacies: Immortality Awaits Evergreen Setiawan

21 July 2021
Tokyo 2020 Preview: Spectacular Show on the Cards

Tokyo 2020 Preview: Spectacular Show on the Cards

20 July 2021
#RaiseARacket for Your Heroes These Tokyo 2020 Olympics

#RaiseARacket for Your Heroes These Tokyo 2020 Olympics

19 July 2021
Tokyo 2020 Preview: Recent Form Favours Axelsen

Tokyo 2020 Preview: Recent Form Favours Axelsen

19 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: Paved with Friendship and Inspiration

Road to Tokyo: Paved with Friendship and Inspiration

18 July 2021
Olympic Legacies: Unseeded Gold Medal Winners

Olympic Legacies: Unseeded Gold Medal Winners

18 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: ‘Daddies’ Feel Relaxed Ahead of Olympics

Road to Tokyo: ‘Daddies’ Feel Relaxed Ahead of Olympics

17 July 2021
Olympic Legacies: Will the ‘Famous Eight’ Add a Ninth Member?

Olympic Legacies: Will the ‘Famous Eight’ Add a Ninth Member?

17 July 2021
Road To Tokyo: Bumpy Journey but No Regrets

Road To Tokyo: Bumpy Journey but No Regrets

16 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: ‘Beating Tai Tzu Ying Was Turning Point’

Road to Tokyo: ‘Beating Tai Tzu Ying Was Turning Point’

16 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: For Spain and for Marin

Road to Tokyo: For Spain and for Marin

15 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: Watanabe Unfazed by Double Duty

Road to Tokyo: Watanabe Unfazed by Double Duty

15 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: ‘I’m Quite Stubborn’

Road to Tokyo: ‘I’m Quite Stubborn’

14 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: ‘A Chance to Show Strength’

Road to Tokyo: ‘A Chance to Show Strength’

14 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: Germans Primed for Big Push

Road to Tokyo: Germans Primed for Big Push

13 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: Tai Aware Errors Could Prove Costly

Road to Tokyo: Tai Aware Errors Could Prove Costly

12 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: ‘Everyone’s in the Same Boat’

Road to Tokyo: ‘Everyone’s in the Same Boat’

12 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: Ng’s Du-ing Just Fine

Road to Tokyo: Ng’s Du-ing Just Fine

11 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: All About Keeping It Simple

Road to Tokyo: All About Keeping It Simple

10 July 2021
Road To Tokyo: ‘Not Going to Japan to Have Fun’

Road To Tokyo: ‘Not Going to Japan to Have Fun’

9 July 2021
Tokyo 2020 Draw: Minions In Tricky Terrain

Tokyo 2020 Draw: Minions In Tricky Terrain

8 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: Myanmar Talent Hopes to Make Impact

Road to Tokyo: Myanmar Talent Hopes to Make Impact

7 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: ‘We Want to Compete, Not Just Participate’

Road to Tokyo: ‘We Want to Compete, Not Just Participate’

6 July 2021
Tokyo 2020 Badminton Qualifiers Announced

Tokyo 2020 Badminton Qualifiers Announced

5 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: Japan Sweet Japan for Koreans

Road to Tokyo: Japan Sweet Japan for Koreans

4 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: All Prepped and Ready for Battle

Road to Tokyo: All Prepped and Ready for Battle

2 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: Shahzad Relishes Proud Moment for Pakistan Badminton

Road to Tokyo: Shahzad Relishes Proud Moment for Pakistan Badminton

1 July 2021
Road to Tokyo: The Promise of a Big Impact

Road to Tokyo: The Promise of a Big Impact

30 June 2021
Road to Tokyo: Life Only Gets Better for Axelsen the Gold Hunter

Road to Tokyo: Life Only Gets Better for Axelsen the Gold Hunter

29 June 2021
Olympic Legacies: Most Medals in the Bag

Olympic Legacies: Most Medals in the Bag

27 June 2021
Road to Tokyo: Okuhara’s Evolution Since Rio

Road to Tokyo: Okuhara’s Evolution Since Rio

26 June 2021
Road to Tokyo: Goh Blazes Trail for Malaysia

Road to Tokyo: Goh Blazes Trail for Malaysia

25 June 2021
Did You Know? Ahsan’s Best Olympic Run Wasn’t With Setiawan

Did You Know? Ahsan’s Best Olympic Run Wasn’t With Setiawan

24 June 2021
Olympic Day: My First Olympics

Olympic Day: My First Olympics

23 June 2021
Sozonov’s World Outside Court: Literature, History, Music

Sozonov’s World Outside Court: Literature, History, Music

22 June 2021
Mahmoud Hopes to Inspire Refugees Worldwide

Mahmoud Hopes to Inspire Refugees Worldwide

20 June 2021
‘Top Priority is to Ensure Safe and Successful Olympics’

‘Top Priority is to Ensure Safe and Successful Olympics’

17 June 2021
40 Days to Tokyo 2020: Women’s Singles Dark Horses

40 Days to Tokyo 2020: Women’s Singles Dark Horses

13 June 2021
‘During Lockdown I Was Grinding, Training Really Hard’

‘During Lockdown I Was Grinding, Training Really Hard’

11 June 2021
Destination Reached, a New Journey Begins for Mahmoud

Destination Reached, a New Journey Begins for Mahmoud

10 June 2021
Aram Mahmoud Makes the Cut for Tokyo 2020

Aram Mahmoud Makes the Cut for Tokyo 2020

8 June 2021
‘It’s About Maximising What I Can Take From Tokyo’

‘It’s About Maximising What I Can Take From Tokyo’

6 June 2021
50 Days to Tokyo 2020: Japan’s Dream – Matching Chinese Sweep of London 2012

50 Days to Tokyo 2020: Japan’s Dream – Matching Chinese Sweep of...

3 June 2021
Injured Olympic Champion Marin to Miss Tokyo 2020

Injured Olympic Champion Marin to Miss Tokyo 2020

1 June 2021
Updates on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifying

Updates on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifying

28 May 2021
Road to Tokyo Reunites Pair Split by 900km

Road to Tokyo Reunites Pair Split by 900km

27 May 2021
60 Days to Tokyo 2020: Men’s Doubles Dark Horses

60 Days to Tokyo 2020: Men’s Doubles Dark Horses

24 May 2021
80 Days to Tokyo 2020: Women’s Doubles Dark Horses

80 Days to Tokyo 2020: Women’s Doubles Dark Horses

4 May 2021
Pan Am Championships: Debut Title for Brian Yang

Pan Am Championships: Debut Title for Brian Yang

3 May 2021
European Championships: Alimov/Davletova Make History

European Championships: Alimov/Davletova Make History

3 May 2021
Pan Am Championships: Rachel Chan Stuns Iris Wang

Pan Am Championships: Rachel Chan Stuns Iris Wang

2 May 2021
European Championships: Lauren Smith in Sight of Double

European Championships: Lauren Smith in Sight of Double

2 May 2021
Pan Am Championships: Setback for Ygor Coelho

Pan Am Championships: Setback for Ygor Coelho

1 May 2021
European Championships: Russians Continue to Torment Gicquel/Delrue

European Championships: Russians Continue to Torment Gicquel/Delrue

1 May 2021
Pan Am Championships: Ho-Shue, Sankeerth Stretched

Pan Am Championships: Ho-Shue, Sankeerth Stretched

30 April 2021
European Championships: Good Day for Turkey

European Championships: Good Day for Turkey

29 April 2021
European Championships: Hungry Korosi Bags Gift for Son

European Championships: Hungry Korosi Bags Gift for Son

28 April 2021
Endo/Watanabe: Cruise Mode as Tokyo Looms Ahead

Endo/Watanabe: Cruise Mode as Tokyo Looms Ahead

17 April 2021
COVID Turns Nguyen Match-Savvy

COVID Turns Nguyen Match-Savvy

15 April 2021
100 Days to Tokyo 2020: Mixed Doubles Dark Horses

100 Days to Tokyo 2020: Mixed Doubles Dark Horses

14 April 2021
IOC Approves Revised Qualification System for Tokyo 2020

IOC Approves Revised Qualification System for Tokyo 2020

1 March 2021
IOC President Promises Athletes ‘Fantastic Experience’

IOC President Promises Athletes ‘Fantastic Experience’

25 November 2020
Books the Ideal Mental Health Remedy for Leydon-Davis

Books the Ideal Mental Health Remedy for Leydon-Davis

5 November 2020
‘Small Things’ Drive Ygor Coelho Forward

‘Small Things’ Drive Ygor Coelho Forward

3 November 2020
Lockdown Gives Lefel a Second Shot at Tokyo

Lockdown Gives Lefel a Second Shot at Tokyo

27 October 2020
On This Day: When Lin and Lee First Contested an Olympic Final

On This Day: When Lin and Lee First Contested an Olympic Final

17 August 2020
‘Golden Slot’ Again for Badminton at Tokyo 2020

‘Golden Slot’ Again for Badminton at Tokyo 2020

25 July 2020
Badminton’s Most Successful Olympians

Badminton’s Most Successful Olympians

23 July 2020
Refugee Athlete Mahmoud Resilient Despite Lockdown Blues

Refugee Athlete Mahmoud Resilient Despite Lockdown Blues

20 June 2020
Pandemic Spurs Pak to Pick Up Sixth Language

Pandemic Spurs Pak to Pick Up Sixth Language

31 May 2020
Marcus Ellis | Part II: Homing in on Success

Marcus Ellis | Part II: Homing in on Success

30 May 2020
‘The Break is Nice… But It’s a Little Too Long!’

‘The Break is Nice… But It’s a Little Too Long!’

2 May 2020
New Dates Announced for Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics

New Dates Announced for Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics

30 March 2020
BWF Responds to Tokyo 2020 Postponement

BWF Responds to Tokyo 2020 Postponement

25 March 2020
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Postponed

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Postponed

24 March 2020
COVID-19 Leads to Suspension of Further Events

COVID-19 Leads to Suspension of Further Events

20 March 2020
IOC Issues Communique on Tokyo 2020

IOC Issues Communique on Tokyo 2020

18 March 2020
‘Scarred’ Momota Dreaming of Olympic Glory Again

‘Scarred’ Momota Dreaming of Olympic Glory Again

9 March 2020
Badminton Asia Championships Moved To Manila

Badminton Asia Championships Moved To Manila

4 March 2020
IOC President Confident of Successful Olympics

IOC President Confident of Successful Olympics

4 March 2020
Olympic Qualifier in Portugal Called Off

Olympic Qualifier in Portugal Called Off

2 March 2020
‘Big Teams Are Taking Us More Seriously’

‘Big Teams Are Taking Us More Seriously’

28 February 2020
BWF Statement on Postponement of Vietnam International Challenge

BWF Statement on Postponement of Vietnam International Challenge

25 February 2020
Countdown to Glory – Five Months to Go

Countdown to Glory – Five Months to Go

25 February 2020
‘She Thought I was Joking About Pairing Up’

‘She Thought I was Joking About Pairing Up’

19 February 2020
Bold Predictions for 2020

Bold Predictions for 2020

15 February 2020
Sindhu’s New Strength is her Presence of Mind

Sindhu’s New Strength is her Presence of Mind

13 February 2020
Beyond the Numbers Game

Beyond the Numbers Game

12 February 2020
Sabrina Jaquet: Seeking Rhythm

Sabrina Jaquet: Seeking Rhythm

11 February 2020
Ho-Shue: Primed for a Twin Challenge

Ho-Shue: Primed for a Twin Challenge

7 February 2020
Mahmoud Hangs On Despite Challenges

Mahmoud Hangs On Despite Challenges

3 February 2020
BWF Statement on Postponement of Lingshui China Masters

BWF Statement on Postponement of Lingshui China Masters

1 February 2020
Gicquel & Delrue: Rapid Ascent

Gicquel & Delrue: Rapid Ascent

30 January 2020
Thai Triumph Provides Fillip for Ellis & Smith in Olympic Year

Thai Triumph Provides Fillip for Ellis & Smith in Olympic Year

28 January 2020
A Leap Up for Thygesen & Fruergaard

A Leap Up for Thygesen & Fruergaard

22 January 2020
Tokyo Legends Inspiring Current Stars

Tokyo Legends Inspiring Current Stars

21 December 2019
Stoevas Seek Form After Disruption

Stoevas Seek Form After Disruption

25 November 2019
Olympic Champ Carolina Marin Returns

Olympic Champ Carolina Marin Returns

11 September 2019
Pan Am Champs Seek to Sharpen Skills

Pan Am Champs Seek to Sharpen Skills

5 September 2019
IOC President Fascinated with Badminton Finals

IOC President Fascinated with Badminton Finals

29 August 2019
Miyuki Maeda Revels in New Role

Miyuki Maeda Revels in New Role

9 August 2019
Olympic Fever in Tokyo

Olympic Fever in Tokyo

27 July 2019
One Year To Tokyo 2020: Players’ Thumbs-Up for Olympics Venue

One Year To Tokyo 2020: Players’ Thumbs-Up for Olympics Venue

24 July 2019
Olympic Dreams Spur On Refugee Champ Mahmoud

Olympic Dreams Spur On Refugee Champ Mahmoud

12 July 2019
Aram Mahmoud Receives IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship

Aram Mahmoud Receives IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship

21 June 2019
Michelle Li – Playing with Pain on Road to Tokyo

Michelle Li – Playing with Pain on Road to Tokyo

11 June 2019
‘Competition Against Great Players Brought Out Best in Me’ – Bang Soo Hyun

‘Competition Against Great Players Brought Out Best in Me’ – Bang Soo...

6 June 2019
What We Have Learned – Road To Tokyo

What We Have Learned – Road To Tokyo

29 May 2019
Timely Reward for Christie

Timely Reward for Christie

6 May 2019
‘Ygor’ for Success in Tokyo!

‘Ygor’ for Success in Tokyo!

30 April 2019
And They’re Off!

And They’re Off!

29 April 2019
Fighting To Be Fit Again

Fighting To Be Fit Again

28 April 2019
Badminton Olympic Competition Schedule Announced

Badminton Olympic Competition Schedule Announced

16 April 2019
Lee Chong Wei in Search of Olympic miracle

Lee Chong Wei in Search of Olympic miracle

16 April 2019
New Lustre to the Legend

New Lustre to the Legend

10 April 2019
Tai Undecided on Retirement Post Tokyo 2020

Tai Undecided on Retirement Post Tokyo 2020

8 April 2019
Somerville/Mapasa Seek to Cover Lost Ground

Somerville/Mapasa Seek to Cover Lost Ground

5 April 2019
Comeback Man Parupalli Targets Tokyo 2020

Comeback Man Parupalli Targets Tokyo 2020

2 April 2019
Women Trailblazers – Rio Flashback

Women Trailblazers – Rio Flashback

23 March 2019
New Era Set to Dawn – Road To Tokyo

New Era Set to Dawn – Road To Tokyo

23 March 2019
Tokyo 2020 on the Horizon

Tokyo 2020 on the Horizon

22 March 2019
YOG Stars to Watch – Road To Tokyo

YOG Stars to Watch – Road To Tokyo

22 March 2019