For the sixth straight Summer Olympics, badminton will be a full medal sport. A game found all over the world but dominated by Asian and European countries, this is a guide and preview for the badminton tournament at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
There are five medal events for the badminton competition: Men's Singles, Women's Singles, Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. In each event, a gold, silver, and bronze medal will be awarded to the top three individuals/pairs of each event.
All competition will take place at Wembley Arena in London. For the badminton competition, the venue will have a gross capacity of 6,500. For practice and preparation, Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre in Essex will serve as the primary training venue for all athletes.
Number of players/pairs competing
There are a total of 172 athletes that may take part in the badminton competition. Each athlete will compete either as individuals or in pairs and can only participate in one event. This number includes 85 mean and 85 women, with up to two extra slots of either gender allocated to the host country.
Each match is played to the best of three games. Each game is won once an individual/pair reaches 21 points first. If the score were to reach a 20-20 tie, play continues until one individual/pair gains a two-point lead or wins the final point when the score is tied at 29 apiece.
In the singles events, players will be divided into 16 groups of anywhere from two to four players each in the preliminary stage. All the players in the group will play each other and the player winning the most matches will move onto the knockout stage. In the knockout stage, the 16 group winners will play in a single-elimination format where the semifinal winners will compete for the gold and silver medals, while the semifinal losers will play for the bronze medal.
In the doubles events, pairs will be divided into four groups of four pairs each in the preliminary stage. All the pairs in the group will play one another and the top two pairs in each group will progress to the knockout stage. In the knockout stage, the final eight pairs will play in a single-elimination format where the semifinal winners will compete for the gold and silver medals while the semifinal losers will play for the bronze medal.
Seeding will be done for the top 16 players in each singles events and the top four pairs in each doubles events for each draw, according to the BWF World Ranking list of May 3, 2012.
Important dates for 2012 badminton competition
The badminton competition will take place from Saturday, July 28 to Sunday, Aug. 5. The medal and final round games will take place from Aug. 3-5. Other key dates are the Draw Date on July 23 at 10 a.m. in the main press centre, Draw Rehearsal on July 22, and the team managers/ITO meeting on July 26.
London 2012 Explanatory Guide Badminton, tpenoc.net
Badminton World Federation - 2012 London Olympic Games, Badminton World Federation
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Austin is an avid badminton enthusiast and has been a frequent participant and coach of the sport for nine years. He is also a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network who looks forward to watching the action at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Follow this contributor on Twitter @_austinchang.
- Sports & Recreation
- London 2012 Olympic Games