Badminton at the 2016 Summer Olympics

Dates 11 – 20 August 2016
Medal Events 5

Badminton was first contested at the 1992 Olympic Games for both men and women in singles and doubles. The mixed doubles was added in 1996. For 2016 the programme was the same as London 2012.

Between 38 and 50 players were permitted in the singles competitions and 16 pairs in each of the doubles events. A singles player could also enter the doubles, and if a player qualified for two events, the extra place was allocated to the next eligible singles player of the same gender. A maximum of 172 athletes could compete, with NOCs each allowed up to two entries in the singles and two pairs in each doubles event. Entries in each event included the highest-ranked player or pair from each of the African, Asian, European, Oceania and Pan American badminton confederations.

The Competitions were played in two stages: the group stage and the knockout stage. For the singles competitions, players went into 13 groups of three or four players and for doubles, there were four groups with four pairs in each. All players/pairs played every other player/pair in their group in a round-robin. Triggered by the match-fixing scandal in the women’s doubles in London, a random draw to determine places in the quarter-finals was made for the doubles events. In the singles competitions, the top player from each group progressed to the round of 16, with the three top ranked players going straight through to the last eight. In doubles competitions, the two top pairs from each group advanced to the quarter-finals. This stage consisted of head-to-head matches from which the winner advanced to the next round.

As aforementioned, in the singles events, the maximum number of players per nation was two. An instant review system, used to review line calls, was introduced as per the Laws of Badminton. A player had the option to call for two challenges during a game. If the challenge was successful, the player kept his/her challenge. Each match was the best of three sets, with each set won by the player/pair to first reach 21 points with a minimum of a two point margin.

China’s dominance in London, when they won all events, as well as two silver and a bronze medal, was broken in Rio as only the men’s singles and doubles went to China. The women’s singles was won by Spain’s Carolina Marín, and women’s doubles by the Japan duo Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi, the number one seeds. The mixed doubles was dominated by the third-seeded Indonesian pair Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Singles, Men Olympic 11 – 20 August 2016 41 37
Doubles, Men Olympic 11 – 19 August 2016 32 14
Singles, Women Olympic 11 – 19 August 2016 40 35
Doubles, Women Olympic 11 – 18 August 2016 32 14
Doubles, Mixed Olympic 11 – 17 August 2016 32 14
172 (86/86) 46 (39/37)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Singles, Men Chen LongCHN Lee Chong WeiMAS Viktor AxelsenDEN
Doubles, Men People's Republic of China 1CHN MalaysiaMAS Great BritainGBR
Singles, Women Carolina MarínESP P. V. SindhuIND Nozomi OkuharaJPN
Doubles, Women JapanJPN DenmarkDEN Republic of Korea 1KOR
Doubles, Mixed Indonesia 1INA MalaysiaMAS People's Republic of China 1CHN

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
People's Republic of China CHN 2 0 1 3
Japan JPN 1 0 1 2
Indonesia INA 1 0 0 1
Spain ESP 1 0 0 1
Malaysia MAS 0 3 0 3
Denmark DEN 0 1 1 2
India IND 0 1 0 1
Great Britain GBR 0 0 1 1
Republic of Korea KOR 0 0 1 1