Paris Olympics: What to know and who to watch during the badminton competition

A roadmap to follow for the badminton competition during the Paris Olympics:

Athletes to Watch

—Beiwen Zhang, United States: After winning the women’s singles gold at the 2023 Pan American Games, the 33-year-old is the best shot at the first American badminton medal at the Olympics since its debut as a medal event in 1992. Born in China, Zhang moved to Singapore as a teenager in 2007 and has represented the U.S. internationally since 2013.

—Viktor Axelsen, Denmark: Axelsen was Europe’s only medalist (gold) in Tokyo three years ago, and he was the top qualifier for Paris. At 30, this will be his third Olympics; he won bronze in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

—Chen Yu Fei, China: The defending women’s singles champion led China to a tournament win in May and finished behind only An Se-young of South Korea in the Paris qualification rankings.

Storylines to Follow

—The U.S. mixed doubles team of Vinson Chiu and Jennie Gai qualified at the Pan Am Games. It still will be an uphill climb for them to medal.

—Pablo Abian of Spain and Kevin Cordon of Guatemala are just the third and fourth players to make it to a fifth Olympics. Neither has medaled.

—El Salvador, Kazakhstan and Nepal are represented in badminton for the first time, all in men’s singles with Uriel Francisco Canjura Artiga, Dmitriy Panarin and Prince Dahal, respectively.

Key Dates

Group play begins July 27 and runs through July 31, the same day mixed doubles quarterfinals begin. The mixed doubles bronze- and gold-medal matches are Aug. 2; women’s doubles on Aug. 3; men’s doubles on Aug. 4; and men’s and women’s singles on Aug. 5.

Reigning Champions

—Men’s singles: Viktor Axelsen, Denmark.

—Women’s singles: Chen Yu Fei, China.

—Men’s doubles: Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin, Taiwan.

—Women’s doubles: Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu, Indonesia.

—Mixed doubles: Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping, China.


AP Summer Olympics:

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