Let’s take a look at the Men’s Singles Badminton Event at the Tokyo Olympics and try to make a list of the nominees for the tournament.
With the Tokyo Olympics (July 23, 2021 – August 8, 2021) less than 50 days away, we are putting together articles on different sports as preparation for this huge event. We are covering men’s singles badminton within this series in this article.
Men’s Badminton Event at the Olympics:
Men’s badminton was first introduced as an Olympic sport at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Traditionally, powerful Asian powers, China and Indonesia, have dominated the event, winning six gold medals so far. Legendary Chinese Lin Dan won the Olympic gold medal twice (2008 and 2012).
The only gold medal won by a non-Asian country in this badminton event was at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, when Denmark won the yellow medal.
At this year’s event, a total of 40 players will play first in the Round of Robin, followed by a knockout from the last 16. At the moment, the men’s singles badminton arena is very competitive. The Chinese are no longer in control of it, with only one Chinese player in the top ten at the moment.
There are quite a few shuttles that match very closely and picking a favorite among them is not an easy task at all. We’re still trying to do that, based on their current look and niche.
No. 1: World No. 1 Kento Momota (Japan)
This genius from Japan was the man who had been defeated in the men’s badminton circuit for the past three or four years. He is the current World and Asian Champion and has also won several BWF Super Series Badminton Championships. He will be eager to win his first Olympic gold in front of his home crowd.
Momota is definitely the favorite to win the men’s badminton championships this year given his level of performance in the tournament.
No. 2: World No. 5 Chen Long (China)
Long Chen, the defending champion and one of the all-time greats of the game, would definitely be considered one of the candidates. He is one of the most experienced badminton players in this year’s tournament and that will be a huge help to him in big match situations.
Even though Long Chen had outlived his tenure, he was still a force to be reckoned with. If he is able to win in Tokyo, he will become the most successful men’s badminton player in Olympic history, with two gold medals and one bronze in his cat.
No. 3: Danish duo: Viktor Axelsen (No. 2 in the world) and Anders Antonsen (No. 3 in the world)
Veteran Viktor Axelsen and young Anders Antonsen will carry Denmark’s hopes of winning a second Olympic gold in the event. Both of these Danish superstars are able to go on to win a gold medal.
Victor Axelsen has been the second best player in the ring after Momota, over the past 3-4 years. He has been very consistent and won major badminton events like the All England and other Super Series events. If he continues to be in good shape, he can surely be considered one of the favorites for the gold medal.
On the other hand, Antonsen has been the most improved young badminton player in the last two years. He is the current European Champion and also won the prestigious Denmark Open. In his day, he could beat anyone in the world, and if he was at the top of his level, he would be a force to be reckoned with.
No. 4: Dark Horses: Chou Tein Chen (World No. 4), Anthony Genting (World No. 6) and Lee Gil Zia (World No. 8)
Young stars Anthony Genting and Lee Jill Zea, the current All England badminton champion, are the biggest dark horses of this tournament. Both players are exceptionally talented and have an excellent all-round game that can upset any opponent.
They are also great players and have an impressive giant kill record. If they were able to do so, they would have a great chance of winning a gold medal.
On the other hand, Chou Tein Chen is a very experienced badminton player but lacks killer instinct at times. But he should still be considered a black horse, due to his experience and fortitude at the highest level.