Photo credit: Tang Shi
Mixed dominance in the different categories
In men’s single there are several players who have won the Asian Games more than once; Lin Dan, Taufik Hidayat and Zhao Jianhua all have two gold medals and even more players have two medals or more. The category has been dominated by these players’ countries with China’s 18 and Indonesia’s 16 medals total.
Women’s single shows a different story than the men’s single category. In the 14 previous times badminton has been at the Asian Games there has been 14 different gold medal winners. Three of the last four finals have been all-Chinese clashes with Wang Yihan winning the last one against Li Xuerui. In 2006 Hong Kong interrupted the Chinese dominance with a final between Wang Chen and Yip Pui Yin.
With 18 medals in total, of which 7 are of the finest metal, Indonesia is way superior to their opponents in men’s double. Park Joo-bong from Korea is however the most successful player with three medals total in three different colors, but Rexy Mainaky/Ricky Subagja and Hendra Setiawan are the ones with most gold medals – two each. Hendra’s are by the way won with different partners, Markis Kido and Muhammad Ahsan.
A funny note is that Icuk Sugiarto and Liem Swie King, who are probably best known as some of Indonesia’s best ever single players in history, both hold medals in the men’s double category. Sugiarto won with Christian Hadinata in 1982 and King settled for bronze four years later with Bobby Ertanto.
Indonesia leading 16-15
At the previous Asian Games in 2014 Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari got their best result ever when they won the women’s double title against the later Olympic Champions from Japan, Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi. It was the first medals for Indonesian women’s double since 1998 in a category, which is highly dominated by China with 17 medals in total. It was also first time since 1998 that Indonesia had a pair in the final; at that time Eliza Nathanael and Deyana Lomban lost to Ge Fei and Gu Jun from China.
Mixed double has also been dominated by China and Indonesia and in 2014 these two countries took all four medals. China has 15 medals in total but Indonesia has one more, however, China leads 3-2 in gold medals against the Indonesians. But it is Korea who has the most successful mixed double players in history when counting the total gold medals; the proud mixed double nation has 6 gold medals of which 5 of them were won five years in a row from 1986 and forward.
Two pairs only have won the gold twice and both are Koreans; Park Joo-bong/Chung Myung-hee in 1986 and 1990, and Kim Dong-moon/Ra Kyung-min in 1998 and 2002.
Did you know… see next page