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Top 5 Ranked Mens Badminton Players Of All Time

Curious as to which men's badminton players are the best of all time? Look no further for a list of the top five ranked men's badminton players in the world. No prior knowledge of the sport is required.

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Who Are the Top 5 Men's Badminton Players of All Time?

Listed below are the top five men's badminton players of all time, ranked in order from one through five. Rankings fall where they fall based on several different factors, including career win-loss records, the number of championships won, appearances at Olympic events, and on-court skills. The country in which each player hails from resides within the list.

  1. Lin Dan (China)
  2. Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
  3. Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia)
  4. Rudy Hartono (Indonesia)
  5. Morten Frost (Denmark)

Not included in this list is the famous Peter Gade (Denmark) and the young phenom Viktor Axelsen, both of whom are historically good badminton players that can be considered honorable mentions within this ranking.

Provided below are some key facts and career achievements for each player. There is somewhat of a common theme, as each of the five players listed saw great success at some point in their playing careers.


1. Lin Dan

Nicknamed "Super Dan" within the badminton community, Lin Dan is not only the best badminton player ever to hail from China, but he's also the greatest player of all time in the eyes of most fans. Known for being a risk-taker, Dan consistently attempted difficult shots that rendered opposing players helpless, seemingly pinpointing the edge of the sidelines without landing the shuttlecock out of bounds every time.

Here are some of his most notable career accolades

  • Won each of the nine major international championships by the age of 28
  • Five gold medals in World Badminton Championships and two in World Cup
  • The only player to win gold medals at two consecutive Olympic Games
  • Three gold medals at Asian Games (similar to the Olympics, exclusive to Asian countries)
  • Named "Male Athlete of the Year" by China's flagship television network in 2010


2. Lee Chong Wei

Lee Chong Wei grew up playing basketball until his mother deemed it unsafe and forbade him from playing the sport again. This fact makes it all the more impressive that Chong Wei was able to make a seamless transition to badminton and cement himself as the second greatest player to ever live. He is undoubtedly the best badminton athlete from Malaysia, breaking many of the sport's long withstanding records before his retirement this past year.

Here are some of his most notable career accolades

  • Held the number one player ranking in the world for nearly four years
  • Four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games (similar to the Olympics, exclusive to member nations that were once part of the British Empire)
  • Two silver medals at the Olympic Games
  • Six-time Penang Sportsman Award winner (recognizes best male athlete in all of Malaysia)
  • Named "Player of the Year" by the Badminton World Federation four times


3. Taufik Hidayat

In addition to being third on the all-time list, Taufik Hidayat is arguably the best badminton player out of the several players that hail from Indonesia. He played in the same era as Lin Dan, competing against him many times in World Championship matches that represented the most highly contested rivalry the sport had ever seen.

Here are some of his most notable career accolades

  • Reached the Indonesian Open Championship a record six times
  • Owner of 27 international titles
  • Holds the record for the fastest recorded hit speed (190 miles per hour)
  • Three gold medals at Asian Championships
  • Won men's singles title at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece


4. Rudy Hartono

Rudy Hartono is another famous Indonesian badminton player, his legendary career trailing only to that of Taufik Hiyadat's. Despite his playing career taking place several decades ago in the 1960s and 1970s, he has still been viewed as one of the greatest athletes of all time thanks in part to his tremendous speed, which allowed him to track down shots that appeared entirely out of reach.

Here are some of his most notable career accolades

  • Eight-time winner of the All-England Badminton Championships
  • Won the second-ever International Badminton Federation World Championship in his first season as a professional player
  • Champion at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany
  • Four Thomas Cup gold medals (prestigious international badminton tournament held annually
  • One of the youngest players to ever be crowned champion of an international tournament


5. Morten Frost

For years, it seemed all Morten Frost knew how to do was win major championships. His tendency to excel under the spotlight earned him the nickname "Mr. Badminton" from the media. Nonetheless, he is often labeled "the world's greatest badminton player that was never world champion" because he failed to emerge victorious at any of the World Badminton Championships. Had Frost been able to add that to his already impressive resume of tournament victories, he would likely be in the top three of the all-time player rankings.

Here are some of his most notable career accolades

  • Ranked top three in the world for 12 consecutive years
  • Named champion at least once for every international badminton tournament (except for the World Badminton Championships)
  • Four-time winner of the All-England Badminton Championship Open during five-year span (1982, 1984, 1986, 1987)
  • Became just the fourth player to become inducted into Europe's Badminton Hall of Fame in 2016
  • Went an astonishing five years without being defeated by a European player during his reign of dominance in the early 1980s



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