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Which badminton-playing nations will make their Olympic debut at Paris 2024?

Published at :May 11, 2024 at 9:26 PM
Modified at :May 11, 2024 at 9:26 PM
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Anmol Kakkar


Three nations will make their Olympic debut at Paris in badminton.

The badminton tournaments at the Paris 2024 Olympics are scheduled from July 27 to August 5 at the Porte de la Chapelle Arena. A total of 172 badminton players, equally split between men and women, will compete across five medal events — men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.

The host nation France reserves a spot each in the men’s and women’s singles for its highest-ranked players. Four additional places are allocated under the Universality principle. The remaining players underwent a direct qualifying process based on the “Race to Paris” ranking prepared by the Badminton World Federation from May 1, 2023, to April 28, 2024.

Nations can enter a maximum of two players/pairs in each event if ranked within the top 16 in singles or top eight in doubles respectively. Rules ensure representation from all five continental zones and account for players qualifying in multiple events.

For a sport like badminton which is dominated by the usual nations, this edition will see three nations making their debut in the Olympics.

Let us look at the three nations that will be making their debut in badminton at the Olympics.

Badminton nations that will make Olympics debut at Paris 2024

El Salvador

Uriel Canjura
YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA – OCTOBER 17: Uriel Francisco Canjura Artiga of El Salvador competes against Gao Zhengze of China during Men Single qualification round of the BWF World Junior Championships 2017 on October 17, 2017 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

Uriel Canjura made history for his country on April 28th by becoming the first badminton shuttler from El Salvador to qualify for the Olympics. Ranked 56th in the Olympic rankings, the 23-year-old secured his spot in the prestigious event. Canjura has an impressive track record, having won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games, two silvers, and one bronze at the Pan American Championships.

Additionally, he has claimed victory in five international challenges and finished as the runner-up in four.

At the 2024 Spain Masters, Canjura nearly achieved an upset against Su Li Yang, who is ranked 30th in the world. In a match that showcased his determination, Canjura narrowly missed victory with scores of 13-21, 22-20, 20-22. The government of El Salvador has provided substantial support to Uriel during this Olympic cycle, ensuring he has all the necessary resources.

El Salvador is still in pursuit of its first Olympic medal. In the previous Olympics, El Salvador sent a five-member contingent. This year, three athletes have qualified so far, representing the country in surfing, sailing, and badminton.

Kazakhstan

Dmitriy Panarin
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – AUGUST 21: Dmitriy Panarin of Kazakhstan competes in the Men’s Singles First Round match against Li Shifeng of China on day one of the BWF World Championships 2023 at Royal Arena on August 21, 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Kazakhstan, traditionally strong in combat and strength sports, will now be represented in badminton at the Olympics. The country boasts a rich history in boxing, wrestling, and weightlifting. Dmitriy Panarin has created history for Kazakhstan by becoming the first badminton player to qualify for the Olympics. The 24-year-old secured his place by finishing 69th in the Olympic rankings.

He has claimed 10 international challenger/series titles and has been the runner-up in five tournaments. Of these 10 victories, he has won four titles in singles, three in men’s doubles, and three in mixed doubles. Additionally, he has won nine junior international titles.

While he has yet to achieve significant wins against top players, competing at the Olympics alongside many elite athletes will undoubtedly provide him with invaluable experience.

Kazakhstan has won a total of 79 Olympic medals—15 gold, 25 silver, and 39 bronze. In the last edition, 94 athletes qualified across 20 sports and won eight medals, all of which were bronze.

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Nepal

Prince Dahal
Prince Dahal (Credits – @princedahal_/Instagram)

Prince Dahal has made history for Nepal by becoming the first badminton player from the country to qualify for the Olympics. He received a tripartite invitation from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and was ranked as the Junior World No. 1 in 2022.

The 19-year-old will carry the hopes of Nepal’s badminton future. Dahal developed an interest in badminton at the age of 7, with his father providing significant support for his pursuit of the sport. Achieving the World Junior No. 1 ranking is a monumental feat for Nepal, a nation not traditionally known for its sporting prowess.

Although the competition at the Olympics will be challenging, the experience of playing against the world’s top players will undoubtedly boost Dahal’s confidence for future performances.

Nepal has yet to win an Olympic medal. In 2020, only five players qualified for the Olympics through Universality and Tripartite invitations. So far this year, two athletes have qualified for the Olympics, both through tripartite invitations. Dahal has also become the second athlete from Nepal to qualify for the Olympics.

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