When you think of the top badminton nations, France may not be among the countries you’ll add to your list — and I get it. For decades, this country had yet to field talent worthy of placing in the World Rankings — until 2021. Since that year, a mixed doubles pair has risen to the occasion, breaking into the rankings in the name of the French flag. I’m talking about the trailblazing and ever-talented French duo of Thom Giquel and Delphine Delrue!
Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue compete in the mixed doubles division and have won numerous titles in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) International Series. The pair have bagged numerous titles, including the 2018 Swedish Open and the Azerbaijan International. The team has also performed beyond expectations on the World Tour, representing France on the podium on several occasions. The duo also won titles like the 2019 Orleans Masters and the 2021 Swiss Open. Due to their achievements and podium-worthy performances, the duo ascended the rankings, even becoming the number five best mixed doubles pair in January 2023.
Thom Gicuqel and Delphine Delrue aren’t just another up-and-coming pair to watch. By being the only representatives of their country in the rankings, this team may be on the way to making history. Join me as we shine the spotlight on this French team in my latest installment of Player Profile!
Profile: Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue
Let’s get to know this up-and-coming and history-making duo.
Thom Gicquel was born on January 12, 1999, in Tours, France. As a boy, he was heavily influenced by his parents who were also badminton players. When he turned six, he began playing badminton in the same club his parents were in and quickly developed his skills. By the age of 16, he made his debut at the 2015 Polish Junior where he advanced as far as the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles event.
Roughly a year Gicquel’s senior, Delphine Delrue was born on November 6, 1998. Like Gicquel, Delrue took to badminton at an early age, becoming affiliated with the USEE Badminton Club when she was only eight. In 2013, she took part in several junior tournaments, including the 2013 Belgian Junior and the Czech Junior International.
Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue debuted as a mixed doubles pair in 2016. The team’s first outing was at the 2016 Belgium International, where they advanced past the round of 32 stage.
Victories in the BWF International Series
The pair began their title hunt in the BWF International Series. Starting their campaign in 2016, their first podium appearance was at the 2016 Swiss International, where they were the runners-up in the mixed doubles event. A couple of years later, they bagged their first International Series title.
The pair won their first International Series title at the 2018 Swedish Open. There, Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue defeated Denmark’s Kristoffer Knudsen and Isabella Nielsen in straight sets.
They immediately followed their title victory up with another stellar performance at the 2018 Dutch International. Gicquel and Delrue once again advanced to the finals to face another Danish team: Elisa Melgaard and Mathias Thyrii. Defeating their opponents in two straight games, Gicquel and Delrue bagged their second International Series title.
A year later, Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue thrilled fans with another title victory at the Azerbaijan International. At the 2018 Azerbaijan International, the up-and-coming duo came from behind to defeat Germany’s Mark Lumfuss and Isabel Herttrich in a nail-biting three-game thriller.
Title Victories on the BWF World Tour
Thom Gicuqel and Delphine Delrue’s success didn’t stop at the International Series. In 2018, the pair won their first spot on the World Tour podium by being the runners-up at the 2018 Dutch Open.
Hungry for their first World Tour title, they set their sights on the 2019 Orleans Masters. At the tournament, they breezed to the finals where another French team awaited them: Ronan Labar and Anne Tran. In dominant fashion, Gicquel and Delrue defeated their fellow French shuttlers, winning their first World Tour title.
After the COVID-19 Pandemic, the duo made a triumphant return to action at the 2021 Swiss Open. There, they dominated the mixed doubles event, easily advancing to the finals. In the finals, they defeated Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Bøje to win their second World Tour title.
Between 2021 and 2023, Gicquel and Delrue continued to amaze and thrill spectators with their performances, emerging as runners-up in several high-profile World Tour tournaments. More recently, the pair solidified their spot in the World Rankings with their runner-up finish at the 2023 China Open.
Given their young age, Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue boast impeccable athleticism and lighting-quick reaction times. These qualities combine to form a style that results in full-court coverage and exciting rallies. Let’s go into the details.
Mirroring is a positional tactic used by Gicquel and Delrue. This tactic involves positioning oneself directly across the opposing player.
This tactic was on full display in the quarterfinals of the 2023 China Open. If you watch the match, you’ll find Gicquel and Delrue following their opponents on the court.
This tactic enables Gicquel and Delrue to anticipate shots and respond with quickness and accuracy. If you want to see this positional tactic in action, check out the entire match.
The duo also plays a style that’s heavy on counter-attacks and pocket-placed shots. Their counter-attacking style and shot placements throw many opponents off. Those who can keep up are taken into deep waters, getting tangled in a long rally that often leads to shot errors.
Placing French Badminton on the Map
Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue are on their way to dominating the mixed doubles rankings as the duo who put French badminton on the map. With their achievements, more fans are recognizing France’s potential as a badminton powerhouse.
Time will tell whether or not more French players and teams will follow suit. There’s only one way to find out — and that’s to stay tuned to the games and World Rankings!
Subscribe on our About Us page, see you there!
Thank you for reading! Our most popular posts are our badminton equipment posts, make sure to check them out next.
Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our email list down below for a FREE downloadable PDF and a 25% COUPON CODE for our store.
BadmintonBites is all about honest and authentic badminton content. The goal of BadmintonBites is to create real value for the badminton community, which is often plagued with subpar or downright false content on the internet.
Badminton deserves so much more and we’re here to share our experience and expertise with you. You can read more about BadmintonBites and our purpose on our About Us page.
We would love to have you with us on our badminton journey and we hope to provide you with as much value as possible.
Here’s some guides and reviews on badminton products. We update this list whenever we add new equipment content – hope you enjoy!