Who's Back

Until qualification officially begins this remains unclear.

Here are Rio's top still-active finishers and their rankings as of late March 2021:


  • 3rd: Nozomi Okuhara, Japan (Women's Singles - Bronze)
  • 4th: Viktor Axelsen, Denmark (Men's Singles - Bronze)
  • 5th: Carolina Marin, Spain (Women's Singles - Gold)
  • 6th: Chen Long, China (Men's Singles - Gold)
  • 7th: P.V. Sindu, India (Women's Singles - Silver)


  • 7th: Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying, Malaysia (Mixed Doubles - Silver)
  • 12th: Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge, Great Britain (Men's Doubles - Bronze)

Who's Gone

Lee Chong Wei, Malaysia, Men's Singles

Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia announced in June 2019 he was retiring from the sport about a year after he was diagnosed with nose cancer, ending a nearly two-decade run of competition. Lee had planned to compete in Tokyo but a doctor told him he risked making it worse by returning to high-intensity training.

The now 38-year-old finished second in three straight Olympics from Beijing to Rio, losing in the final each time. He also took silver three times at the world championships. Lee finished with a career record of 713-135 and is the country of Malaysia's most decorated Olympian of all-time.

Fu Haifeng, China, Men's Doubles

Fu Haifeng of China formally retired after the Chinese National Games in September 2017 at the age of 34, relinquishing an opportunity to win three straight Olympic gold medals in the men's doubles and defend his title in Tokyo. In addition to his two golds, Fu took silver at the Beijing Games in 2008. He also ended his career a four-time men's doubles world champion, winning three straight titles from 2009 to 2011. At 32 in Rio, he was China's fourth oldest Olympic medal winner.

Ayaka Takahashi, Japan, Women's Doubles

Defending Olympic women's double champion Ayaka Takahashi of Japan announced plans to retire in August 2020.

Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, Indonesia, Mixed Doubles

The defending Olympic mixed doubles champions announced their retirements separately — Natsir in January 2019 at a masters tournament, and Ahmad in May 2020 on social media. Both the pair's individual careers spanned more than 15 years.

New Faces to Watch

Kento Momota, Japan, Men's Singles

The two-time reigning world champion is the early favorite to win the men's singles event.

Chen Yufei, China, Women's Singles

Chen, the 2017 and 2019 world bronze medalist, is expected to challenge Japan's Nozomi Okuhara for the Olympic title in Tokyo.

Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota, Japan, Women's Doubles

The Japanese pair has lost the last three straight world championship finals and is hungry to finally attain gold.

Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, China, Mixed Doubles

Zheng and Huang are the two-time reigning world champions in the mixed doubles and the favorites to win gold in Tokyo.


World Championships

2017 BWF World Championships (Glasgow, Scotland)

Men's Singles
  • G: Viktor Axelsen, Denmark
  • S: Lin Dan, China
  • B: Son Wan-ho, South Korea
  • B: Chen Long, China
Women's Singles
  • G: Nozomi Okuhara, Japan
  • S: P.V. Sindhu, India
  • B: Chen Yufei, China
  • B: Saina Nehwal, India
Men's Doubles
  • G: Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan, China
  • S: Mohammad Ahsan/Rian Agung Saputro, Indonesia
  • B: Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, Japan
  • B: Chai Biao/Hong Wei, China
Women's Doubles
  • G: Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan, China
  • S: Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota, Japan
  • B: Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, Japan
  • B: Kamilla Rytter Juhl/Christinna Pedersen, Denmark
Mixed Doubles
  • G: Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir, China
  • S: Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen, China
  • B: Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock, England
  • B: Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah, Hong Kong

2018 BWF World Championships (Nanjing, China)

Men's Singles
  • G: Kento Momota, Japan
  • S: Shi Yuqi, China
  • B: Chen Long, China
  • B: Liew Daren, Malaysia
Women's Singles
  • G: Carolina Marin, Spain
  • S: P.V. Sindhu, India
  • B: He Bingjiao, China
  • B: Akane Yamaguchi, Japan
Men's Doubles
  • G: Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen, China
  • S: Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, Japan
  • B: Chen Hung-ling/Wang Chi-lin, Chinese Taipei
  • B: Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan, China
Women's Doubles
  • G: Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara, Japan
  • S: Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota, Japan
  • B: Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu, Indonesia
  • B: Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto, Japan
Mixed Doubles
  • G: Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, China
  • S: Wang Yilu/Huang Dongping, China
  • B: Zhang Nan/Li Yinhui, China
  • B: Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet, Hong Kong

2019 BWF World Championships (Basel, Switzerland)

Men's Singles
  • G: Kento Momota, Japan
  • S: Anders Antonsen, Denmark
  • B: B. Sai Praneeth, India
  • B: Kantaphon Wangcharoen, Thailand
Women's Singles
  • G: P.V. Sindu, India
  • S: Nozomi Okuhara, Japan
  • B: Ratchanok Intanon, Thailand
  • B: Chen Yufei, China
Men's Doubles
  • G: Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan, Indonesia
  • S: Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi, Japan
  • B: Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto, Indonesia
  • B: Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen, China
Women's Doubles
  • G: Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara, Japan
  • S: Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota, Japan
  • B: Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu, Indonesia
  • B: Du Yue/Li Yinhui, China
Mixed Doubles
  • G: Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, China
  • S: Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai, Thailand
  • B: Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino, Japan
  • B: Wang Yilu/Huang Dongping, China