Impressive is not the word I would use to describe a genius like Huang Sui. Impressive is a given, but what I loved the most about the way Huang Sui played badminton was her precise movements, attention to detail, and impeccable strategy.
Huang Sui was born on January 8, 1982 in Hunan, China. She started her career in badminton in 1988, at the ripe age of six years old. It all began when she entered Anhua Badminton Technical School in her birth province. A few years later in 1992, she enrolled in the Hunan Provincial Sports Technical School. By 1997, she became a part of the second echelon of China’s National Badminton Team, and in 1999, became a part of the first echelon of the national team.
But before we dive into her career in badminton, let’s first take a look at the badminton scene in Sui’s country of birth — China.
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China Dominates Badminton
Badminton was first introduced in China in 1956 in the Fujian Province. Seven years later, in 1963, the first Chinese badminton team was formed. While badminton training was suspended for 10 years (from 1966 to 1976) due to a cultural revolution, the players continued to train hard and improve their skills. By 1978, China was one of 21 nations playing in the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
Ever since BWF began formal competitions in 1982, China has won consistently impressive scores in many international competitions. The height of China’s national team reached its peak in the 1980s, wiping out all the players in the fifth BWF World Championships and receiving five gold medals in 1987 and 1988.
China’s dominance in badminton didn’t end there. It skyrocketed to new heights, especially when the sport was accredited as an Olympic event in 1992. Since then, China has obtained more Olympic medals in badminton than any other nation.
From the time the sport emerged in China until the present, the country has been honing unparalleled talents to represent it on a national level. One of their key players was Huang Sui.
Huang Sui’s Early Years in Badminton
Huang Sui’s personal life is not well known to the public, so there’s not too much I can say about that. What I do know is that even at an early age, she’s been committed to the sport. As early as six years old, she enrolled in a specialized school to hone her skill and continued to do so until she became a genius in her own right.
She made her debut in the Chinese National Badminton Team in 1997. One year later — in 1998 — she won second place at the World Youth Championships in women’s doubles in the Swedish and England Open.
One year after that in 1999, she was the main player of the Champion Team and won the following awards:
- 2nd Place in women’s doubles in the Sixth Sudirman Cup
- 2nd Place in mixed doubles in the Fourth City Games
- 2nd Place in women’s doubles at the Hong Kong Open
All these wins during her prime would not have been possible without her partner-in-crime, Gao Ling.
The Partnership of a Lifetime
Huang Sui and Gao Ling were a powerhouse duo that succeeded another iconic pair, Gu Jun and Ge Fei in the court. Not only did Huang/Gao replicate Ge/Gu’s wins at major events, but they exceeded them.
An example of this would be during the All England event, where Ge/Gu’s impressive performance garnered them four titles. But Huang/Gao took it to the next level by winning a record six consecutive titles from 2001 to 2006.
Their unstoppable partnership didn’t end there. Huang/Gao continued to dominate the court by winning three more titles in five consecutive finals at the World Championships. To say they were impressive is an understatement. They were formidable, and — at the rate they were going — they were also unbeatable.
You may be wondering: what made this pair such a powerhouse? What was it that enabled them to perform so well? The answer is simple: they complemented each other.
In her own right, Gao was a genius on the court. Before she was paired with Huang Sui, she won World Championships and Olympic Championships with her previous partner, Zhang Jun, in the mixed category. But she found an ally in Huang Sui like never before.
Gao was known as an exceptional player in the forecourt, while Huang Sui performed with utmost consistency and strength in the backcourt. After their first win in 2001, they captured more than 30 top-tier events.
Career Highlights: Achievements and Awards
Huang Sui’s badminton career began in 1997 and ended in 2007 when she retired from the sport. Throughout the years, she won 83% of all her tournaments. Not only that, but she and Gao Ling obtained a Guinness World Record for most wins in the Badminton World Championships women’s doubles event. They had three wins: 2001, 2003, and 2006.
Here are some of Huang’s career highlights from her 10 years in the industry.
In her early stages, she won gold in Asian Junior Championships.
- 1998 Kuala Lumpur in girls’ doubles
- 1998 Kuala Lumpur in mixed doubles
- 1998 Kuala Lumpur in girls’ team
At the World Junior Championships, she won:
- Bronze during the 1998 mixed doubles in Melbourne
- Silver during the 1998 girls’ doubles in Melbourne
At the Asian Games, she obtained:
- Gold in the 2006 women’s doubles and women’s team in Doha
- Gold in the 2002 women’s team and silver in the 2002 women’s team in Busan
In the Uber Cup, she won:
- Gold in the 2006 women’s team in Sendai and Tokyo
- Gold in the 2004 women’s team in Jakarta
- Gold in the 2002 women’s team in Guangzhou
In the Sudirman Cup, she won:
- Gold in the 2005 mixed team in Beijing
- Gold in the 2001 mixed team in Seville
During the World Cup, she received gold in the 2006 women’s doubles in Yiyang. She also won silver in the 2004 women’s doubles event in Athens.
For World Championships, she obtained the following accolades:
- Gold in the 2006 women’s doubles in Madrid
- Gold in the 2003 women’s doubles in Birmingham
- Gold in the 2001 women’s doubles in Seville
- Silver in the 2007 women’s doubles in Kuala Lumpur
In 2007, during her last year as a badminton player, Huang Sui was named the women’s doubles Champion at the Malaysian Super Contest, South Korea Super Contest, Thailand Open, and Macau Open Grand Prix.
What Happened Next?
After her retirement in 2007, Huang Sui has led a quiet life. She returned to the badminton scene in 2012 — this time, as an Australian player.
As a Chinese player, she had a lot of pressure on her shoulders to continue the country’s prestigious legacy as the leading nation in the sport. With this article, it’s clear to see how she did just that and so much more!
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