Yang Yang (badminton)
December 9, 1963 |
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
He is one of the three badminton players in the world to have won two World Badminton Championships men's singles titles consecutively (1987, 1989), the others being Lin Dan and Chen Long. He also won the men's singles gold medal when badminton was a demonstration sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics. He possessed great agility, quick footwork, accurate power, and coolness under pressure, and is widely regarded as one of the finest singles players in the history of the sport.
Yang began training in 1975, when he was 12 years old. He was recruited by the Chinese national team in 1983. He won his first Chinese national championship title in 1984. In 1985, he won the Hong Kong Open by defeating Morten Frost. In 1986, he won the Japan Open and the Hong Kong Open for the second straight year, and also helped China to regain the Thomas Cup (men's world team championship) from Indonesia by winning key matches. In the late 80s he dominated international singles play, winning the World Championships over Morten Frost in 1987 and over young Ardy Wiranata in 1989. In 1988 he also won the Olympic exhibition event in Seoul (badminton became an official Olympic sport at the next games in Barcelona). In 1989 he added the venerable All-England Championships to his tally; thus, by twenty-five, he captured all the titles by which "greatness" in the sport is generally measured.
China's Golden Generation
As a member of China's golden badminton generation of the 1980s which included the almost equally brilliant singles stars Zhao Jianhua and Xiong Guobao, Yang Yang played an important role in making China the major world badminton superpower. His play was instrumental in China's consecutive Thomas Cup (men's world team) titles in 1986, 1988, and 1990.
In 1991, he retired as a player and started coaching in Malaysia. In the very next year, he guided Malaysia to its first Thomas Cup victory in 25 years, the only occasion since 1967 in which neither Indonesia nor China has won the cup. He then stayed in Malaysia to develop his business for badminton equipment. He returned to China in year 2000, and opened a badminton club named after himself in Nanjing.
|1||Team||1988||Kuala Lumpur, MAS|
|1||Singles||1985, 1986||Hong Kong Open|
|1||Singles||1986||World Grand Prix finals|
|1||Singles||1986, 1989||Japan Open|
|1||Singles||1989||All England Open|