Badminton players to hold Olympics, World Championships, Continental Games and Championships title at same time
Viktor Axelsen and Lin Dan are the only two men’s singles shuttlers to feature in the list.
The name of Viktor Axelsen is already involved in the conversations of the greatest male badminton player of all time. He, just like Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, and Chen Long has won all and everywhere trophy possible. And he recently added yet another feather to his cap by becoming the only second men’s singles badminton player ever, after the Super Dan, Lin Dan, to hold the Olympics, the Continental Championships, the Continental Games and the World Championships titles concurrently.
But Lin Dan and Viktor Axelsen aren’t the only two to have accomplished the feat. As many as seven different players have had the distinction of holding the four titles simultaneously, according to the Wikipedia of Badminton, Gill Clark. Let us take a look at the names of the seven players and how they won the titles.
Viktor Axelsen (Men’s Singles – Completed in 2023)
Olympics: 2021 | World Championships: 2022 | European Championships: 2022 | European Games: 2023
It would be unfair to leave the Danish superstar out of the GOAT debates if you didn’t give him a chance until now. Words aren’t enough, to sum up the dominance shown by the 29-year-old, and we are not making any futile attempts. Viktor Axelsen is passionate about winning and has the determination to do everything possible to gain the slightest advantage over his competitors. Learning Mandarin to understand the Chinese players shows how much he has the will to succeed.
Lin Dan (Men’s Singles – Completed in 2010)
Olympics: 2008 | World Championships: 2009 | Asian Championships: 2010 | Asian Games: 2010
Be so good that even your competitors name you after superheroes. And the former World No. 1, Lin Dan, from China was just that good. So good that he came close to doing twice what the rest on the list could do only once, had he been given the wild card to compete in the 2014 World Championships.
Nicknamed the Super Dan (after Superman) by the Danish great Peter Gade, Lin Dan was inducted into the BWF Badminton Hall of Fame with his long-time rival Lee Chong Wei. Lin Dan is the only player in the history of the sport to have completed the Super Grand Slam (titles at the Olympics, World Championships, World Cup, Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup, Super Series Masters Finals, All England Open, Asian Games and Asian Championships).
Ge Fei and Gu Jun (Women’s Doubles – Completed in 1998)
Olympics: 1996 | World Championships: 1997 | Asian Championships: 1998 | Asian Games: 1998
The Chinese duo of Ge Fei and Gu Jun, at their peak, were a force to reckon with, winning back-to-back IBF World Championships gold, Olympics gold and back-to-back World Cup titles. And what’s more impressive about the feat is that while Ge Fei was dominating Women’s Doubles with Gu Jun, she was just as dominant, if not more, in the Mixed Doubles partnering with Liu Yong. At one point, she held the World No. 1 rank in both Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
Zhang Nan and Zhao Yun Lei (Mixed Doubles – Completed in 2016)
Olympics: 2012 | World Championships: 2015 | Asian Championships: 2016 | Asian Games: 2014
Another pair from China is on the list, and this time, it’s the mixed doubles duo of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yun Lei. This is the only team that took four different years to win the four titles, and they perhaps had the shortest reign as the holders of the four titles. Both players are still active in the BWF circuit.
Zhao Yun Lei has been World No. 1 with three different partners and is the only badminton player to have won two gold medals in a single edition of the Olympics. Zhang Nan has also won two medals at a single edition of the Olympics, but one was bronze.
Kim Dong Moon (Mixed Doubles – Completed in 1999)
Olympics: 1996 | World Championships: 1999 | Asian Championships: 1998 | Asian Games: 1998
Kim Dong Moon is the second mixed doubles player/pair on the list and the only doubles player to have completed the list by winning titles with more than one partner. Kim Dong Moon won his Olympic gold with Gil Young-ah and the rest of the three titles with his lifelong sweetheart Ra Kyung-min.
However, one thing that has been consistent with the South Korean and the rest of the doubles players on the list is their performance in the two doubles categories they could play in. Just like all the ones mentioned above, Kim Dong Moon excelled in two doubles categories and was at some point in his career ranked World No. 1 in both of them.
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