There are many questions about who badminton’s greatest player of all time should be. Is it the majors, the titles, or both?
This sport is full of legendary players that graced the green mats over the years with stellar mastery of their rackets.
Here are the greatest five shuttlers of all time.
- Lin Dan
Need to say more about the Chinese superstar? Everyone rates him as the greatest of all time, and he is on his way to becoming a unanimous hall of fame.
Super Dan basically owned the first two decades of the new millennium, where he was almost immortal in men’s singles. He won a record five world titles, took home Olympic gold twice (also a record), and won a record six Thomas Cups with China.
Also, he added more major titles (including six All-England crowns) to become the lone person to win the Super Grand Slam.
- Taufik Hidayat
The spitfire Indonesian has terrorized his foes with his trademark backhand, which became a key weapon when he hit his prime from 2003 to 2006, a year removed from his second consecutive Thomas Cup win.
In 2004, he won the Olympic gold in Athens and then became the World Champion for the only time the following year in Anaheim.
- Lee Chong Wei
Malaysia’s greatest player has won the most career singles titles with 69 (57 on the tour, also a record) and had spent the most weeks (310) as world number one. Also, his rivalries with Lin Dan put the game to new heights.
For all his achievements, the glory of a major tournament eluded him up to his retirement, during which he was called the game’s “Uncrowned King”. He reached a total of six finals, three each in both the Olympics and the Worlds but never took home the gold.
- Rudy Hartono
This Hall of Famer is the best shuttler of the seventies, where he was the last genuine superstar of the Amateur era before it transitioned to a more professional period.
Hartono was part of the Indonesian sweep of that decade when they won four straight Thomas Cups. However, he was well-known for being the Lord of Wembley when he won a record eight All-England titles, including seven in a row from 1968 to 1974.
- Peter Gade
The great Dane has become the emblem of the European resistance to the Asian domination of the sport, in which he is known for his deception and trickery on the court.
Gade was a five-time European Champion and earned five podium finishes in World Championships (including a final appearance in 2001 and then won a total of 22 titles on the tour.
However, he could not replicate that in the Olympics, owing to the competition that he had with the likes of Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, and Taufik Hidayat.