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Badminton

Top five greatest badminton players from Malaysia

Published at :May 3, 2023 at 4:05 AM
Modified at :May 3, 2023 at 4:05 AM
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Shivam


Three-time Olympics medalist Lee Chong Wei tops the list.

Badminton is perhaps the most popular non-traditional sport in Malaysia. And ever since the rise of the Sidek-brothers, some of the greatest badminton players from Malaysia, the country has accepted the game as their unofficial national sport. As per thesportingblog.com, almost 12.19% of Malaysians play the sport.

With the popularity that badminton enjoys in the country, there must be a lot of great players to have represented them. We take a look at the list of the greatest badminton players from Malaysia:

5. Goh Liu Ying/Chan Peng Soon

The mixed-doubles pair of Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon is the only pair/individual on the list of the greatest badminton players from Malaysia to have a female star. The duo played together for almost 13 years before splitting up for good. 

The duo were consistently in the top 10 of the BWF mixed doubles rankings throughout their partnership. They won four BWF Super 300 events and were runners-up in the BWF Super 1000 event Indonesia Open in 2018. However, their most significant achievement was winning the silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Notable achievements include:

Silver medal in Summer Olympics 2016

Gold medal in Asian Championships 2010

Bronze medal in Sudirman Cup 2009 (for Goh Liu Ying)

Silver medal in Thomas Cup 2014 (for Chan Peng Soon)

Bronze medal in Asian Games 2014 (for Chan Peng Soon)

4. Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik

The duo of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik are the only active ones on the list of the greatest badminton players from Malaysia. They are the reigning World Champions and the World No. 2 in the BWF men's doubles rankings. They also won the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

The duo are yet to win a BWF World Tour event together. However, they do have runners-up finishes at the All England Open 2019 (BWF Super 1000 event), the Thailand Open 2020 (II) (BWF Super 1000 event) and the India Open 2023 (BWF Super 750 event). And given their rich run of form, it would be hard to bet against them not winning their first BWF World Tour title in the ongoing season.

Notable achievements of the duo include:

Bronze medal in Summer Olympics 2020

Gold medal in World Championships 2022

Bronze medal in Sudirman Cup 2021

Silver medal in Asian Championships 2022

Gold medal in the 2022 edition and silver medal in the 2020 edition of the Asia Team Championships

3. Razif Sidek/Jalani Sidek

Sidek brothers are the reason behind the popularity of the sport and some of the greatest badminton players from Malaysia. The five brothers played and won several international top-tier competitions while also coming up with newer creative ways of playing it, especially the "S" serve.

Razif and Jalani, in particular, won 18 IBF World Grand Prix titles and three World Grand Prix Finals together. But the bronze medal in the 1992 Barcelona Games would definitely be the dearest achievement of the two. 

After retiring, the duo took up coaching and continued developing the game in the South-East Asian nation. While Razif Sidek coached the first Malaysian Olympics silver medal-winning duo of Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock, Jalani groomed and trained multiple future international stars.

Notable achievements of the duo include:

Bronze medal in Summer Olympics 1992

Silver medal in the 1987 edition and Bronze in the 1989 edition of World Championships together and Bronze medal in the 1980 edition for Jalani Sidek

Two Gold medals, one Silver medal and four Bronze medals in the World Cup

One Gold medal, three Silver medals and one Bronze medal in the Thomas Cup

One Gold medal, two Silver medals and two Bronze medals in the Asian Championships

Silver medal in men's team and Bronze medal in men's doubles events in Asian Games 1990

2. Cheah Soon Kit/Yap Kim Hock

The duo of Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock are, as aforementioned, the first to win an Olympics silver medal in Badminton for Malaysia. They played as a pair only for five years and yet feature on the list of the greatest badminton players from Malaysia, such was their dominance. They were consistently one of the top-ranked teams in the world.

Apart from the historic silver medal in Atlanta, they also won one gold medal and two silver medals in the World Grand Prix Finals. Cheah Soon Kit also groomed the current stars of Malaysian badminton, the duo of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik.

Notable achievements of the duo include:

Silver medal in Summer Olympics 1996

Silver medal and Bronze medal in World Championships together and a Silver medal in World Championships for Cheah Soon Kit with a different partner

Three Bronze medals in World Cup together and two Gold medals and a bronze medal for Cheah Soon Kit with different partners

Two Silver medals in Thomas Cup together and one Gold medal, two Silver medals and one Bronze medal in Thomas Cup for Cheah Soon Kit with different partners

One Bronze medal in Asian Games together, two Silver medals for Cheah Soon Kit with different partners and one Bronze medal for Yap Kim Hock with a different partner

One Gold medal and one Bronze medal in Asian Championships together, three Bronze medals for Cheah Soon Kit with different partners and a Silver medal for Yap Kim Hock with a different partner

1. Lee Chong Wei

Lee Chong Wei is the only singles player on the list of the greatest badminton players from Malaysia. The Malaysian holds the record for most Olympics medals won in badminton (three Silver medals). He spearheaded the most successful edition of the Olympics for Malaysia in 2016, as they returned with four Silver medals and a Bronze medal.

He was ranked World No. 1 on the BWF rankings for 349 weeks, becoming the only Malaysian to hold on to the top ranking for more than a year. In his career spanning over 19 seasons, Lee Chong Wei won 69 titles and finished runners-up in another 34.

Notable achievements of Lee Chong Wei include:

Silver medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics

Three Silver medals and a Bronze medal in World Championships

Bronze medal in Sudirman Cup 2009

One Silver medal and four Bronze medals in Thomas Cup

One Silver medal and four Bronze medals in Asian Games

Two Gold medals and two Bronze medals in Asian Championships

Bronze medal in Asian Team Championships 2018

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