Top Badminton Countries in 2015

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2015 saw numerous badminton countries retain, lose, and gain a footing in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Rankings. We saw Chen Long and the South Korean duo of Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong clinching their World Number One spots, while the German mixed doubles team of Michael Fuchs and Birgit Overzier bowed out of the rankings. Indeed, 2015 was a rollercoaster of a year for every badminton country — but who reigned supreme that year?

As of December 31, 2015, China still dominated all divisions with talent flooding all badminton disciplines. Across all disciplines in the World Rankings, Chinese players outnumbered players from other countries, except in the men’s doubles rankings where South Korea reigned. South Korea came in second with representation across all disciplines except men’s singles. In 2015, Japan and Denmark secured third place with six teams and players each in the World Rankings that year.

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In detail, here’s a table showing every badminton country that made the World Rankings in 2015. The table also shows the number of players the country had in every badminton discipline:

RankCountryMen’s Singles PlayersWomen’s Singles PlayersMen’s Doubles TeamsWomen’s Doubles TeamsMixed Doubles TeamsTotal
2South Korea013217
5Chinese Taipei110002
6Hong Kong000011

Striking Comparisons From 2014

China remained the most dominant badminton country in 2015 with their players from the 2014 season still in the rankings. Meanwhile, Japan improved their position with Akane Yamaguchi and Nozomi Okuhara entering the women’s singles rankings in 2015. The entry of these players in the women’s singles World Rankings in 2015 gave Japan better overall representation.

After 2014, the German duo of Michael Fuchs and Brigit Overzier exited the mixed doubles World Rankings. In their place came Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah.

Lastly, Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang relinquished their spot in the women’s doubles rankings after 2014. In 2015, the Dutch team of Eefje Muskens and Selene Piek snagged the Chinese team’s ninth spot. As a result, the Netherlands earned a spot as one of the best badminton countries of 2015.

2015’s Best Badminton Players From Different Countries

We now know which counties have earned a spot on my list of 2015’s best badminton countries. However, let’s remember that badminton countries earned their spots because of the talent that made it to the World Rankings that year. With that in mind, I’ve compiled the definitive list of 2015’s best players and teams and their respective badminton countries.

As usual, I’m only counting the performances of these players and teams in BWF Tier One tournaments. This means titles won in the World Tour, Olympics, and the World Championships.

Men’s Singles

Like in 2014, Chen Long remained the best men’s singles player in the world in 2015.

1Chen LongChina710
2Jan O. JorgensenDenmark120
3Kento MomotaJapan300
4Lin DanChina210
5Lee Chong WeiMalaysia510
6Viktor AxelsenDenmark050
7Chou Tien ChenChinese Taipei020
8Tian HouweiChina020
9Kidambi SrikanthIndia220
10Wang ZhenmingChina100

Women’s Singles

In 2015, Spain’s Carolina Marin overtook 2014’s top player Li Xue Rui, cementing her status as the best female singles badminton player that year.

1Carolina MarinSpain620
2Saina NehwalIndia230
3Le Xue RuiChina220
4Wang YihanChina120
5Ratchanok IntanonThailand110
6Wang ShixianChina020
7Nozomi OkuharaJapan510
8Sung JihyunSouth Korea300
9Tai Tzu YingChinese Taipei010
10Akane YamaguchiJapan110

Men’s Doubles

In 2015, Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong led the South Korean charge by claiming the top spot in men’s doubles once again.

1Lee Yong Dae
Yoo Yeon Seong
South Korea610
2Hendra Setiawan
Mohammad Ahsan
3Fu Haifeng
Zhang Nan
4Mathias Boe
Carsten Mogensen
5Chai Biao
Hong Wei
6Hiroyuki Endo
Kenichi Hayakawa
7Kim Gi Jung
Kim Sa Rang
South Korea210
8Mads Conrad-Petersen
Mads Pieler-Kolding
9Ko Sung Hyun
Shin Baek Cheol
South Korea210
10Angga Pratama
Ricky Karandasuwardi

Women’s Doubles

China’s Luo Ying and Luo Yu finally claimed the top spot in 2015, dethroning their compatriots Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei.

1Luo Ying
Luo Yu
2Kamilla Rytter Juhl
Christinna Pedersen
3Nitya Krishinda Maheswari
Greysia Polii
4Misaki Matsutomo
Ayaka Takahashi
5Chang Ye Na
Lee So Hee
South Korea140
6Jung Kyun Eun
Shin Seung Chan
South Korea310
7Ma Jin
Tang Yuanting
8Naoko Fukuman
Kurumi Yunao
9Eefje Muskens
Selena Piek
10Tian Qing
Zhao Yunlei

Mixed Doubles

For the second year in a row, Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei solidified their grip on the mixed doubles World Rankings.

1Zhang Nan
Zhao Yunlei
2Tontowi Ahmad
Liliyana Natsir
3Liu Chen
Bao Yixin
4Joachim Fischer Nielsen
Christinna Pedersen
5Ko Sung Hyun
Kim Ha Na
South Korea410
6Xu Chen
Ma Jin
7Chris Adcock
Gabrielle Adcock
8Praveen Jordan
Debby Susanto
9Lu Kai
Huang Ya Qiong
10Lee Chun Hei Reginald
Chau Hoi Wah
Hong Kong220

China: The Most Well-Represented Badminton Country in 2015

China’s dominance of the World Rankings is apparent with 16 representatives spread across all badminton disciplines. China is a force in badminton, particularly in men’s singles and mixed doubles.

Men’s Singles

  1. Chen Long | Age: 26 | Rank: 5 | 1st: 7, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | He uses heavy smashes to dominate opponents.
  2. Lin Dan | Age: 32 | Rank: 6 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | The GOAT boasts a well-rounded game made more dangerous by precision shots and fast reaction time.
  3. Tian Houwei | Age: 23 | Rank: 8 | 1st: 0, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | Has a balanced approach to the game that makes him an adaptive threat
  4. Wang Zhengmin | Age: 25 | Rank: 10 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 0, 3rd/4th: 0 | Displays adeptness with close net play and counterattacking

Women’s Singles

  1. Li Xue Ri | Age: 24 | Rank: 3 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | She uses clears and heavy precision shots from the rear to overwhelm even the most tactical and adept of opponents.
  2. Wang Yihan | Age: 27 | Rank: 4 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | Her natural athleticism and endurance dominate opponents in drawn-out rallies.
  3. Wang Shixian | Age: 25 | Rank: 6 | 1st: 0, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | She outpaces opponents with lighting-fast footwork and impeccable reaction time.

Men’s Doubles

  1. Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan | Ages: 31 and 26 | Rank: 3 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 4, 3rd/4th: 0 | The left and right-handed playing combination gives this team full-court coverage and numerous attacking options.
  2. Chai Biao and Hong Wei | Ages: 25 and 26 | Rank: 5 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 3, 3rd/4th: 0 | They ave aggressive and well-rounded tactics that easily throw off many teams

Women’s Doubles

  1. Luo Ying and Luo Yu | Ages: Both 24 | Rank: 1 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 3, 3rd/4th: 0 | They have an aggressive style consisting of clears and heavy smashes from various parts of their court
  2. Ma Jin and Tang Yuanting | Ages: 27 and 21 | Rank: 7 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | Both players are attack-minded and adept at delivering well-placed net shots.
  3. Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei | Ages: Both 29 | Rank: 10| 1st: 3, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | Yunlei’s attack-heavy style and Qing’s defensive coverage create numerous problems for opponents.

Mixed Doubles

  1. Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei | Ages: 26 and 29 | Rank: 1 | 1st: 6, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | This duo controls the net and creates scoring opportunities with their variety of shots.
  2. Liu Chen and Bao Yixin | Ages: Both 23 | Rank: 3 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 4, 3rd/4th: 0 | They are known for their adaptiveness and diverse arsenal of counter-attacking tactics.
  3. Xu Chen and Ma Jin | Ages: 31 and 27 | Rank: 6 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | Their aggressiveness in the front court opens up various scoring opportunities.
  4. Lu Kai and Huang Ya Qiong | Ages: 23 and 21 | Rank: 9 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | Their agility, speed, and footwork allow them to cover all areas effectively.

South Korea: The Most Dominant Badminton Country in Men’s Doubles

South Korea always did dominate in doubles badminton. This was most apparent in 2015 when three South Korean men’s doubles teams made it to the rankings. Besides securing three World Ranking spots, South Korea also snagged the top position in men’s doubles with Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong atop the rankings. However, South Korea lacked a player in men’s singles with the exit of Son Wan Ho.

Women’s Singles

  1. Sung Jihyun | Age: 24 | Rank: 8 | 1st: 3, 2nd: 0, 3rd/4th: 0 | She catches opponents off guard with powerful and high-precision shorts, especially near the net.

Men’s Doubles

  1. Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong | Ages: 27 and 29 | Rank: 1 | 1st: 6, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | The duo uses steep smashes and powerful shots that few opponents can retrieve.
  2. Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang| Ages: 25 and 26 | Rank: 7 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | Fast and agile, both players cover the court well and counterattack with tactically placed shots.
  3. Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol | Ages: 29 and 26 | Rank: 9 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | They use their unique reach and court IQ to their advantage, especially close to the net.

Women’s Doubles

  1. Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee | Ages: 27 and 21 | Rank: 5 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 4, 3rd/4th: 0 | They dominate matches with a smash-heavy attacking style of play.
  2. Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan | Ages: 25 and 21 | Rank: 6 | 1st: 3, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | Their well-rounded style of play is characterized by defensive awareness and effective teamwork.

Mixed Doubles

  1. Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na | Ages: 28 and 26 | Rank: 5 | 1st: 4, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | This team blends teamwork with a dangerous attacking style consisting of aggressive smashes and well-placed net shots.

Japan: In Better Standing Compared to 2014 With Better Women’s Singles Representation

Japan continued to present itself as a multi-discipline powerhouse in 2015. While the country still lacked teams in mixed doubles, they had up-and-coming women’s singles talent in Nozomi Okuhara and Akane Yamaguchi.

Men’s Singles

  1. Kento Momota | Age: 21 | Rank: 3 | 1st: 3, 2nd: 0, 3rd/4th: 0 | 2015’s World Number 3 has a well-rounded badminton style that blends defensive tactics, endurance, and precision shots.

Women’s Singles

  1. Nozomi Okuhara | Age: 21 | Rank: 7 | 1st: 5, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | She outlasts opponents in long rallies with her endurance and shot accuracy.
  2. Akane Yamaguchi | Age: 18 | Rank: 10 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | She has a style that leans on defensive tactics and weathers lengthy rallies with her endurance.

Men’s Doubles

  1. Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa | Ages: Both 29 | Rank: 6 | 1st: 0, 2nd: 0, 3rd/4th: 0 | They are known for their patient and tactical style of play and deceptive drop shots.

Women’s Doubles

  1. Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi | Ages: 23 and 25 | Rank: 4 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | Their opposing styles make this team one of the most tactically well-rounded duos in women’s doubles.
  2. Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao | Ages: Both 23 | Rank: 8 | 1st: 0, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | Their lightning-fast reactivity and solid defensive positioning allow them to return even the most challenging shots to sustain long, grueling rallies.

Denmark: Slightly Improved in 2015 With Another Team in the Men’s Doubles Rankings

Denmark improved their stock in 2015 with the entry of Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding in the men’s doubles rankings. However, like in 2014, Denmark still lacked talent in women’s singles.

Men’s Singles

  1. Jan O. Jorgensen | Age: 28 | Rank: 2 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | Consistency, accuracy, and defensive tactics make Jorgensen a tough player to score against.
  2. Viktor Axelsen | Age: 21 | Rank: 6 | 1st: 0, 2nd: 5, 3rd/4th: 0 | He capitalizes on his reach and power to execute blinding smashes and other power shots.

Men’s Doubles

  1. Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen | Ages: 35 and 32 | Rank: 4 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | Their strong smash-heavy game keeps opponents guessing and on the defensive.
  2. Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler-Kolding | Ages: Both 27 | Rank: 8 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | Versatile on the court, they are able to adapt to whatever their opponents throw at them.

Women’s Doubles

  1. Kamilla Ryter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen | Ages: 32 and 29 | Rank: 2 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | Their accuracy and control enable this team to land well-placed net shots and high-precision shots near the back line.

Mixed Doubles

  1. Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen | Ages: Both 23 | Rank: 4 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 3, 3rd/4th: 0 | They capitalize on their physical prowess and experience to outplay even the youngest and most athletic mixed doubles teams.

Indonesia: A Force To Be Reckoned With in Doubles Badminton

Indonesia was always famous for their performance in doubles badminton. 2015 confirmed the country’s reputation for doubles prowess. Unfortunately, despite the talent the country has in every doubles discipline, Indonesia still lacked shuttlers in singles.

Men’s Doubles

  1. Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan | Ages: 31 and 28 | Rank: 2 | 1st: 3, 2nd: 0, 3rd/4th: 0 | They are famous for an attack-heavy style consisting of counterattacking net play and unorthodox shots.
  2. Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanadasuwardi | Ages: 24 and 23 | Rank: 10 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | Both are defense-minded players who know when to push the pace and counterattack.

Women’s Doubles

  1. Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii | Ages: 27 and 28 | Rank: 4 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 3, 3rd/4th: 0 | Their impeccable defense is made more dangerous by high-precision shots and counterattacking net play.

Mixed Doubles

  1. Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir | Ages: 28 and 30 | Rank: 2 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | They use their experience, teamwork, and athleticism to play with a calculated ferocity that makes for exciting matches.
  2. Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto | Ages: 21 and 26 | Rank: 8 | 1st: 0, 2nd: 4, 3rd/4th: 0 | They overwhelm their opponents with blinding smashes and rock-solid defense coverage.

Chinese Taipei: Less Players in Rankings With the Loss of Their Men’s Doubles Team

Singles talent continued to wave the Taiwanese flag in World Rankings. In 2015, Chou Tien Chen and Tai Tzu Ying stayed in the rankings — albeit in lower spots. However, the World Ranking exits of Lee Sheng Mu and Tsai Chia Hsin meant that Chinese Taipei no longer had representation in men’s doubles.

Men’s Singles

  1. Chou Tien Chen | Age: 25 | Rank: 7 | 1st: 0, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | He is known for his defensive coverage, shot control, and a deadly combination of endurance and speed.

Women’s Singles

  1. Tai Tzu Ying | Age: 21 | Rank: 9 | 1st: 0, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | She uses her natural athleticism, an attack-heavy style, and an arsenal of high-precision and deceptive shots to dominate her opponents.

India: Flexing Their Talent in Badminton Singles

Like Chinese Taipei, India lacked doubles players in the 2015 World Rankings. However, the country boasted up-and-coming singles talent in Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal.

Men’s Singles

  1. Kidambi Srikanth | Age: 23 | Rank: 9 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | He takes control of rallies with his endurance, strong attacking shots, and dynamic footwork.

Women’s Singles

  1. Saina Nehwal | Age: 25 | Rank: 2 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 3, 3rd/4th: 0 | She outlasts opponents with her footwork, precision shot, placement, and uncanny mental resilience.

Netherlands: New to the Rankings With One Team in the Women’s Doubles World Rankings

The Netherlands finally broke into the World Rankings in 2015 with the entry of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek. The 2015 World Number Nine team replaced China’s Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang to add Dutch representation to the World Rankings for the first time in years.

Women’s Doubles

  1. Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek | Ages: 29 and 24 | Rank: 9 | 1st: 0, 2nd: 3, 3rd/4th: 0 | The team boasts a formidable partnership, with Muskens’ attacking prowess and Piek’s defensive stability.

Spain: In Last Place With Only One Player in the Rankings

Spain continued to have some talent in the rankings. The country was represented well in women’s singles with Carolina Marin topping the rankings.

Women’s Singles

  1. Carolina Marin | Age: 25 | Rank: 7 | 1st: 6, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | She specializes in an attacking style that’s made more dangerous by her precision and timing.

Thailand: Still in Last Place With Only One Player in the Rankings

Like Spain, Thailand’s representation was limited in the 2015 World Rankings. The country had a sole representative in Ratchanok Intanon. Nevertheless, her presence helped Thailand retain their spot as one of the best badminton countries of 2015.

Women’s Singles

  1. Ratchanok Intanon | Age: 20 | Rank: 5 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | Her attacking style and heavy smashes overwhelm even the most determined and talented opponents.

Malaysia: Still Among the Least Represented Countries in 2015

Malaysia had always had a reputation for producing quality mixed and men’s doubles talent. However, in 2015, the
Malaysian Legend was the sole player in the rankings, representing the country in men’s singles.

Men’s Singles

  1. Lee Chong Wei | Age: 33 | Rank: 5 | 1st: 5, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | He has an aggressive playing style consisting of a rapid-paced attacking approach, masterful net play, and thunderous counter-smashes.

Hong Kong: In the Rankings Again With Lee and Chau in the Mixed Doubles Rankings

Hong Kong reclaimed their spot in the rankings with the entry of Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah in the mixed doubles rankings. Because the duo occupied the number ten spot, they’d have to outwork numerous teams from below the rankings for Hong Kong to hold their spot.

Mixed Doubles

  1. Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah | Ages: 21 and 29 | Rank: 10 | 1st: 2, 2nd: 2, 3rd/4th: 0 | They have a well-rounded style consisting of Lee’s aggressive net counterattacks and Chau’s defensive awareness and court coverage.

England: Their Mixed Doubles Team Keeps England in the Rankings

As in 2014, Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock were England’s sole representatives in the 2015 World Rankings. Despite dipping one spot in 2015, Chris and Gabrielle Adcock continued to garner English support as they drew international attention to the Union Jack flag.

Mixed Doubles

  1. Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock | Ages: 26 and 25 | Rank: 7 | 1st: 1, 2nd: 1, 3rd/4th: 0 | They dominate rallies with interceptive shots and footwork coupled with swift transitions between defense and attack

2015: Another Jaw-Dropping Year for Many Badminton Fans

2015 was a stellar year as countries fought tooth and nail to gain and retain the title of “Best Badminton Country.” As more talent floods the rankings, we’re once again witnesses to the fact that anything can happen in this crazy sport!

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