Wong Peng Soon
|Wong Peng Soon|
|Country||Malaysia / Singapore|
|Died||May 22, 1996|
Wong Peng Soon, MBE (simplified Chinese: 黄秉璇; traditional Chinese: 黃秉璇; pinyin: Huáng Bǐngxuán) (1918 – May 22, 1996 ) was an ethnic Chinese badminton player who reigned as a top player in Malaya from the 1930s to the 1950s. Noted for his smooth but powerful strokes and graceful footwork, he won the singles title seven times in Singapore and eight times in Malaya during this period, as well as being the top player in the Danish Open, the Indian Open, and the Philippines Open to name a few.
In 1950, he became the first Asian to win the All-England Championships, and won the title again in 1951, 1952, and 1955, earning him an international reputation as the "Great Wong". He was also a member of the victorious Malayan Thomas Cup teams of 1949, 1952, and 1955, serving as captain of the last.
His contribution to the sport was recognized when was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). In 1962, he made local history as the first and still the only sportsperson to date to be awarded the Sijil Kemuliaan (Certificate of Honour) by the Government of Singapore.
Three years following his death in 1996, at the age of 78, due to pneumonia, the International Badminton Federation inducted him into its Hall of Fame in May 1999. Then chairman of the IBF, H R Ward, commented, that "Wong was one of the most remarkable players" and "had enhanced the sport through exceptional achievements".
- He came from a family of nine brothers and seven sisters.
- He taught the Thai king how to play badminton
- His family stayed in big mansion in Jalan Ah Siang, Johor Bahru before he moved to Singapore.
- His granduncle is Wong Ah Fook, who was a good friend of Sultan Abu Bakar and was the contractor responsible for the construction of Istana Besar.
- Asiaweek.com: Passage
- Pat Davis, The Guinness Book of Badminton (Enfield, Middlesex, England: Guinness Superlatives Ltd., 1983) 159.