|Olympic medal record|
A doubles specialist, Yao won a number of top tier events on the world circuit in the early 1990s. Her earliest international success came in partnership with Lai Caiqin with whom she captured women's doubles' titles at the Japan and Thailand Opens and the Badminton World Cup in 1990. In her most successful season, 1992, she paired with Lin Yanfen to win the China and Swedish Opens, the Badminton World Cup, the World Badminton Grand Prix, and the prestigious All-England Championships. Yao and Lin were bronze medalists at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and played doubles for China's world champion 1992 Uber Cup (women's international) team. In 1993 they won the French Open women's doubles and were runners-up in defense of their title at the All England Championships.
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