It wasn’t until the mid-1960s that badminton was considered for inclusion in the Olympic Games. When badminton was classified as a demonstration sport at the 1972 Munich Olympics, there was widespread speculation that the sport would soon make its way on the Olympic stage. The demonstration took place on two courts in a volleyball hall on September 4th. On the one day it was played, almost 3000 people watched the action.
The use of scoreboards foreshadowed future events. This sport has become a great attraction for sport enthusiasts interested in badminton history and rules reviewed on Vwin, a major betting platform in Asia. Twenty-five players representing eleven member associations competed; Rudy Hartono of Indonesia and Noriko Nakayama (née Takagi of Japan won the singles championships, while Ade Chandra/Christian Hadinata of Indonesia won the Men’s Doubles and Derek Talbot/Gillian Gilks of England won the Mixed Doubles.
There were no Women’s Doubles at the time. However, development halted as a contentious political issue came to the fore. On February 24, 1978, the World Badminton Federation was founded; the breakaway group included 13 Asian and six African organisations. The IBF’s split ruined its hopes of competing in the Olympics with badminton. Both parties attempted to reconcile their differences.
IBF and WBF signed a “Deed of Unification ” in Tokyo on May 26, 1981. The international body’s reunion revived its Olympic ambitions. In 1983, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch visited the IBF World Championships, which included some thrilling badminton performances that convinced Samaranch that badminton had a place in the Olympic program.
Thirty players representing eight member associations traveled to Seoul. The event was hosted in the Seoul National University Gymnasium and drew a crowd of 5000 people throughout. Three gold medals were won by the hosts, courtesy of Hwang Hye Young (Women’s Singles), Kim Yun Ja/Chung So Young (Women’s Doubles), and Park Joo Bong/Chung Myung Hee (Women’s Doubles) (Mixed Doubles). Yang Yang (Men’s Singles) and Li Yongbo/Tian Bingyi (Men’s Doubles) were the other two Chinese winners.
1992 - Debut as an Olympic sport in Barcelona
The long-awaited dream of millions of badminton enthusiasts came true at 10 a.m. on July 28, 1992. In the brand-new Pavella de la Mar Bella, Malaysia’s Foo Kok Keong hit the first shuttlecock in Olympic badminton history. A total of 178 players from 37 countries competed in Barcelona. The activity on the court validated all of the effort that had gone into getting badminton to the Olympics. A Women’s Doubles match between Gill Clark/Julie Bradbury (England) and Rosiana Tendean/Erma Sulistianingsih (Indonesia) in the early rounds drew 150 million spectators, according to reports.
What has happened since then?
The influence of badminton at the Olympics has only continued to grow over the next seven Olympics; Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008), London (2012), Rio (2016), and most recently Tokyo (2020) – with viewership constantly smashing records. Meanwhile, the IBF was renamed BWF in 2005. (Badminton World Federation).
Mixed Doubles was introduced in Atlanta in 1996, making badminton one of the few sports in which men and women competed on the same court. Another significant alteration was the bronze medal play-off. Group competition was introduced in London 2012, followed by knock-out competition. As a result, competitors were able to play more matches, and television production hours increased significantly.