Another Atlanta gold medallist joins badminton Hall of Fame

Former Korean singles star Bang Soo Hyun was inducted into the badminton Hall of Fame on Thursday, at a gala dinner attached to the BWF Annual General Meeting. Photos: Mark […]

Former Korean singles star Bang Soo Hyun was inducted into the badminton Hall of Fame on Thursday, at a gala dinner attached to the Annual General Meeting.

Photos: Mark Phelan / Badmintonphoto (live)

Bang is the 7th among the 8 players who won gold at the Atlanta Olympic Games to join the Hall of Fame and the honour of welcoming her to this particular club fell to none other than Badminton World Federation (BWF) President Poul-Erik Hoyer.  Hoyer, the men’s singles gold medallist at the same Olympics, is the only one yet to be inducted.  1996 women’s doubles gold medallists Ge Fei and Gu Jun were named to the Hall of Fame in 2008 and a year later were joined by Gil Young Ah / Kim Dong Moon and Rexy Mainaky/Ricky Subagdja, the winners of, respectively, the mixed and men’s doubles events in Atlanta.

In fact, Bang is only the third Olympic singles champion to enter the Hall of Fame.  Barcelona gold medallist Susi Susanti was the first, in 2004, and in 2012, Sydney winner Gong Zhichao’s name was added to the list.  Another of Bang’s contemporaries, Ye Zhaoying, was inducted in 2009.

In addition to winning Olympic gold, Bang also won the Asian Games in 1994, the 1996 All England, as well as two Hong Kong Open and 3 Korea Open titles.  She retired from international badminton following the 1996 Olympics and from domestic competition a few years later.  She has been a badminton commentator on Korean television and served on the BWF Council from 2005 to 2009.

Bang Soo Hyun is the 9th Korean to be named to the Hall of Fame and the first two among the previous 8 – two-time World Champions Park Joo Bong and Kim Moon Soo – also just happened to be in Nanning this week as well, coaching for the Japanese and Korean teams respectively.  Bang is the first singles specialist from Korea to receive this honour, however.  Bang had occasion to meet with Korea’s rising star in women’s singles, An Se Young, and a photograph and interview appeared on Friday in the Hankyoreh Shinmun.

Also at the gala dinner that accompanied the BWF’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), awards were given out to three other members of the international badminton community.  Belgian umpire Ronny de Vos received the Distinguished Service , Lifetime Achievement Awards went to Ranjit de Silva (pictured above) of Sri Lanka and to Canadian Jean-Guy Poitras.

For more details and photos, see the press release from the BWF.

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net