The sport made its Olympic debut at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
When badminton was added to the 1992 Barcelona Games, Indonesia had never won a gold medal. However, when Susi Susanti won the women’s singles and two hours later her fiancé won the men’s, the country erupted. Their return to Indonesia included a two-hour parade through the streets of Jakarta led by a car carrying a gigantic shuttlecock.
A badminton match comprises the best of three games. A coin is tossed before the first game, and the winner of the toss may serve first or pick an end of the court. Points are scored by one player/pair after every rally and the winning player or pair needs to score 21 points to win each game.
Olympic badminton consists of five events – men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles. Each involves a single-elimination tournament, with the top eight players or pairs seeded. The Badminton World Federation‘s ranking list is used to determine qualification for the Olympic tournament. For singles, 38 competitors are selected. For doubles, 16 pairs are selected.
One of the enduring attractions of badminton is that men and women can compete together on equal terms in mixed doubles, which made its Olympic debut as an event in Atlanta.