Olympic gold medallists Zhang Ning, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng have been inducted into the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Hall of Fame. The trio from China will be officially recognised at a virtual ceremony and media event hosted by BWF on Wednesday 16 June 2021.
Zhang, Cai and Fu were key figures in China’s formidable dominance of Major Championships during the 2000s and early 2010s, and demonstrated tremendous skill, talent, sportsmanship and longevity.
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer lauded their stellar achievements during their careers and labelled them as instrumental figures in the history of the sport.
“Zhang Ning, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng are iconic figures from recent years,” said Høyer.
“They played at an incredibly high level, which helped them win every major title in badminton. Most importantly, the standards they set will always be a challenge for younger generations of players who seek to emulate them.
“I congratulate them on entering the BWF Hall of Fame, which is a well-deserved recognition for these three great players from China.”
BWF Hall of Fame Inductees 2021
As ‘Big Sister’ of the Chinese team, and in her early 30s, Zhang Ning overcame immense home pressure at the Beijing 2008 Olympics to defend her Athens 2004 gold medal, becoming the only women’s singles player to do so. A brilliant all-round player, she was victorious at nearly every major event on the circuit including the BWF World Championships in 2003, and guided China to team triumphs at the Uber Cup (2004, 2006) and Sudirman Cup (2005, 2007).
Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng achieved unprecedented success becoming the only men’s doubles pair to win four BWF World Championships. With his front-court play ably assisting the powerful Fu, Cai piloted the pair to Olympic silver at Beijing 2008 and gold at London 2012, as well as Asian Games team gold in 2006 and 2010. They also contributed a major part to China’s dominance over a decade in the Thomas Cup and Sudirman Cup competitions.
The left-handed Fu Haifeng was noted for his immense power, which combined with the craftiness of Cai Yun, helped the duo win an unprecedented four World Championships, plus Olympic gold (2012), Olympic silver (2008), and two Asian Games team gold. Following Cai’s retirement, Fu then partnered Zhang Nan to claim a second successive Olympic gold at Rio 2016. As with Zhang and Cai, Fu was the backbone of the China team at major team events for over a decade.
The players will be recognised at a virtual ceremony and media event starting 2pm on Wednesday 16 June 2021.