Badminton has a cosmopolitan history. The rules of the modern game were developed in England, but it is now Asian countries that dominate the sport.
Badminton takes its name from Badminton House - home of the Duke of Beaufort in the English county of Gloucestershire. In 1873, the Duke is credited with bringing a version of the game – Poona - back from India and introducing it to his guests.
The sport quickly grew in popularity and in 1877 the first set of written rules were devised by the newly formed Bath Badminton Club. The Badminton Federation of England was created 16 years later and in 1899 it organised the first All England Championships.
Badminton made its debut as a demonstration sport at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. It was not until the 1992 Games in Barcelona that it was officially included on the Olympic programme, with men’s and women’s singles and doubles events. The mixed doubles event made its debut in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympic Games. Since then, the number of events has remained unchanged.
Although the creation of modern badminton is attributed to England, it is Asia that now dominates this sport. Between 1992 and 2008, Asian countries won 69 of the 76 medals available in Olympic competition! The dominant countries are China, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea, followed by Great Britain and Denmark.