You are currently viewing What’s the Prime Age for Mixed Doubles Players?

Mixed doubles is the best of both worlds that combine the strengths of both men and women into a thrilling battle of power, speed, finesse, and wits. It’s a completely different game than any of the other disciplines, including women’s and men’s doubles. Players must work creatively to cover each other’s weaknesses and play to their strengths. In this post, we’ve gathered data for mixed doubles pairs but have also categorized the data into subsets of just women and just men to see if there is any difference.

Statistically, the prime age for mixed doubles players is around 25 years old. Women in mixed doubles perform very well between the ages of 23 and 28, with 27 being the most successful. Men in mixed doubles also perform the best from ages 23 and 28, but have seen the best results at age 26.

Prime Age for Men’s SinglesLink
Prime Age for Women’s SinglesLink
Prime Age for Men’s DoublesLink
Prime Age for Women’s DoublesLink
Prime Age for Mixed DoublesLink

To get these results, we collected the ages of all the mixed doubles badminton players that won gold medals at the Yonex All England, World Championships, and Olympic Games from 2000 to 2021. The ages that were used to calculate the results represent the ages at which the players won the tournaments. You can see all of the data visualized and organized in tables below.

Mixed Doubles Badminton Gold Medals By Age, Women

The above graph shows the number of gold medals won and the age of the women in the mixed doubles pairings. As we can see, women performed very well from ages 23 to 28. Interestingly, there was a steep dip at the age of 26, but I believe that this would not be the case if we took a larger sample size. Also of note is the spread of the results is smaller than those of the Prime Age for Women’s Singles Players and Women’s Doubles Players. It seems that women in mixed doubles have stronger results in their late 20s but also have a lower range of ages that have won gold medals.

For example, women in mixed doubles have shown that they do very well at the age of 28 while results are rare for women’s singles and doubles players at age 28. However, the range of results for mixed doubles are from age 20 to 32 while women’s singles results are from age 18 to 33 and women’s doubles results are from 19 to 34. Both the minimum and maximum are lower and higher respectively for women’s singles and doubles.

Mixed Doubles Badminton Gold Medals By Age, Men

From the graph above, you can see that men perform pretty well from ages 22 to 28. Once again, we see another strange dip in results, but this time at age 27. A larger sample size would likely help smooth out the curve. The analysis of men in mixed doubles is similar to the analysis above for women in mixed doubles. The results are much more level and dense from ages 22 to 28 than they are in men’s doubles and men’s singles. And we see again that the range of ages is a bit smaller in mixed – which is from ages 20 to 32. While the ranges are from 20 to 34 and 19 to 36 in men’s singles and men’s doubles respectively.

Mixed Doubles Badminton Gold Medals By Age, Overall

Overall, the results show that mixed doubles pairs perform very well throughout their 20s. There are no results documented for players under 20 and over 32.

What is interesting about the mixed doubles results is that women in their late 20s perform better than their counterparts in women’s doubles. Furthermore, mixed doubles results for men in their 30s are virtually nonexistent but are still pretty common in men’s doubles.

A guess as to why this is the case may be because of the formation that professional mixed doubles players use. Women tend to play the front court while men tend to play the back court during their offensive play. While the front court is extremely difficult to play well, it is not as physically demanding as doing powerful jump smashes from the back of the court continuously.

Therefore, the front of the court relies more on experience, control, and finesse while the back of the court relies on endurance, power, and agility. This may explain why there are more results in mixed doubles for women who are in their late 20s and for men in their early to mid 20s but not so much in women’s and men’s doubles respectively. Playing very well at the net relies less on stamina and more on experience while playing well at the backcourt relies more on sheer power and endurance which comes with youth.

Of course, this is just a theory into why the results come out the way they do and there are likely many factors at play here. A larger sample size would most certainly bring in more accurate results. But who knows, the future can always surprise us. 

If you’re interested in seeing all of the data used to make this analysis, we’ve listed out all the data below.

Here’s all of the major statistics summarized:

Average25.5
Median25.5
Minimum20
Maximum32
Count82
Standard Deviation2.8

Just men:

Average25.3
Median25.5
Minimum20
Maximum32
Count41
Standard Deviation2.8

Just women:

Average25.8
Median25.5
Minimum20
Maximum32
Count41
Standard Deviation2.7

All England Results

YearWinnerAge
2000Kim Dong-moon24.5
2000Ra Kyung-min23.5
2001Zhang Jun23.5
2001Gao Ling22
2002Kim Dong-moon26.5
2002Ra Kyung-min25.5
2003Zhang Jun25.5
2003Gao Ling24
2004Kim Dong-moon28.5
2004Ra Kyung-min27.5
2005Nathan Robertson28
2005Gail Emms28
2006Zhang Jun28.5
2006Gao Ling27
2007Zheng Bo23.5
2007Gao Ling28
2008Zheng Bo24.5
2008Gao Ling29
2009He Hanbin23
2009Yu Yang23
2010Zhang Nan20
2010Zhao Yunlei23.5
2011Xu Chen26.5
2011Ma Jin23
2012Tontowi Ahmad24.5
2012Liliyana Natsir26.5
2013Tontowi Ahmad25.5
2013Liliyana Natsir27.5
2014Tontowi Ahmad26.5
2014Liliyana Natsir28.5
2015Zhang Nan25
2015Zhao Yunlei28.5
2016Praveen Jordan23
2016Debby Susanto27
2017Lu Kai25.5
2017Huang Yaqiong23
2018Yuta Watanabe21
2018Arisa Higashino21.5
2019Zheng Siwei22
2019Huang Yaqiong25
2020Praveen Jordan27
2020Melati Daeva Oktavianti25.5
2021Yuta Watanabe24
2021Arisa Higashino24.5

Overall:

Average27.5
Median25.3
Minimum20
Maximum29
Count44
Standard Deviation2.3

Just men:

Average24.8
Median24.8
Minimum20
Maximum28.5
Count22
Standard Deviation2.2

Just women:

Average25.5
Median25.5
Minimum21.5
Maximum29
Count22
Standard Deviation2.3

World Championships and Olympic Games Results

Years 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 are for the Olympic Games.

YearWinnerAge
2000Zhang Jun22.5
2000Gao Ling21.5
2001Zhang Jun23.5
2001Gao Ling24.5
2002N/A
2003Kim Dong-moon28
2003Ra Kyung-min27
2004Zhang Jun26.5
2004Gao Ling27.5
2005Nova Widianto28
2005Lilyana Natsir20
2006Nathan Robertson29
2006Gail Emms29
2007Nova Widianto30
2007Lilyana Natsir22
2008Lee Yong-dae20
2008Lee Hyo-jung27.5
2009Thomas Laybourn32
2009Kamilla Rytter Juhl25.5
2010Zheng Bo26.5
2010Ma Jin22.5
2011Zhang Nan21.5
2011Zhao Yunlei25
2012Zhang Nan22.5
2012Zhao Yunlei26
2013Tontowi Ahmad26
2013Lilyana Natsir28
2014Zhang Nan24.5
2014Zhao Yunlei28
2015Zhang Nan25.5
2015Zhao Yunlei29
2016Tontowi Ahmad29
2016Liliyana Natsir31
2017Tontowi Ahmad30
2017Liliyana Natsir32
2018Zheng Siwei21.5
2018Huang Yaqiong24.5
2019Zheng Siwei22.5
2019Huang Yaqiong25.5
2020N/A
2021TBD

Overall:

Average25.9
Median26
Minimum20
Maximum32
Count38
Standard Deviation3.2

Just men:

Average25.7
Median26
Minimum20
Maximum32
Count19
Standard Deviation3.4

Just women:

Average26.1
Median26
Minimum20
Maximum32
Count19
Standard Deviation3.1

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