Olympic gold medalists Zhang Ning, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng have been inducted into the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Hall of Fame.
The trio have been key figures in China’s dominance of the major badminton tournaments in the past decade, displaying immense skill, talent, sportsmanship and longevity.
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer praised their remarkable achievements in badminton and described them as key figures in the history of the sport. He said:
“Zhang Ning, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng are notable personalities from recent years. They played at an incredibly high level, which helped them win all the major titles in badminton.
“Most importantly, the standards they set will always be a challenge for younger generations of players who seek to imitate them. I congratulate them on entering the BWF Hall of Fame, a well-deserved recognition for these three great players from China.”
Zhang Ning: The only player to defend Olympic gold in singles competition
The only singles player to defend an Olympic gold (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008), Zhang Ning is a multi-level player. She won the BWF World Championship in 2003 and led China to team victories in the Uber Cup (2004, 2006) and the Sudirman Cup (2005, 2007).
Meanwhile, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng achieved unprecedented success, becoming the only men’s doubles to win four BWF World Championships. Playing on the front court with the help of strong Fu, Kai led the duo to Olympic silver in Beijing 2008 and gold in London 2012, as well as gold in the 2006 and 2010 Asian Games.
They also contributed significantly to China’s decade-long dominance in the Thomas Cup and Sudirman Cup.
After Kai retired, Fu partnered with Zhang Nan for a second consecutive Olympic gold medal in badminton in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Just like Zhang and Kai, Fu has been the backbone of the Chinese team in major team events for over a decade time.