After a brief appearance as a demonstration sport in 1972 in Munich, badminton was not officially included in the Olympic programme until the 1992 games in Barcelona, with mixed events waiting until 1996 to make its first appearance.

Rules: A standard match is the best of three games, each of 21 points. If the score reaches 20-20, a margin of two points is needed to clinch victory. If a contest reaches 29-29, the contest is decided by the next winning point.

The person or side that wins the game holds serve for the next one. Rallies are won when the shuttlecock touches the floor on the opponent's side of the net, or is sent out of play.

Format: 172 athletes will take part across the five events; men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles. All five events will begin with group play followed by a knockout phase.

In 2012, eight women's doubles players from South Korea, Indonesia and China were disqualified for attempting to lose group matches in attempts to manipulate who they would face in the knockout draw. To combat that, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced in 2012 pairs finishing second in their group would be placed in a draw to determine their knock-out stage opponents. The governing body has also limited nations to two singles entrants in each event, down from the three at London and previous games amid China's dominance of the sport.

Key Terms

Kill – The type of shot produced that leaves your opponent with no response hit straight down the opponent's court.

Clear – Lifting the shuttlecock high over the opponent and dropping it accurately at the back of the court.

Drop – Lifting your shot just about over the net, leaving the opponent scrambling.

Athletes to watch – Lin Dan (China)

China remain unchanged from London 2012. Having claimed gold in every event, why wouldn't they? At the heart of that success was Lin Dan in the men's singles event. Regarded as the sport's greatest of all-time, he is chasing a third Olympic gold.

Lin Dan
Lin Dan is the most successful badminton player of all-time. Getty

Venue: Riocentro - Pavilion 4

Located right next to the Olympic Village, pavilion four holds 6500 spectators.


Thursday 11 August: Men and women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles.

Friday 12 August: Men and women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles.

Saturday 13 August: Men and women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles.

Sunday 14 August: Men and women's singles, women's singles and mixed doubles quarter-finals.

Monday 15 August: Men's singles (last 16 knockout stage), men and women's doubles quarter-finals, men and women's singles (last 16), mixed doubles semi-finals.

Tuesday 16 August: Men and women's doubles semi-finals, women's singles quarter-finals and mixed doubles third place play-off.

Wednesday 17 August: Men's singles quarter-finals and mixed doubles finals.

Thursday 18 August: Women's singles semi-finals, women's doubles finals, men's doubles third place play-off.

Friday 19 August: Men's singles semi-finals, women singles final and mixed doubles final.

Saturday 20 August: Men's singles final.