Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
Date Started: July 28, 2012
Date Finished: August 3, 2012
Format: Single-elimination tournament.
Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei of China were the defending World Champions and number one in the world rankings going into the badminton mixed doubles event at the 2012 Olympics. The nation also had the number two ranked team of Xu Chen and Ma Jin, while Indonesia's Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir, the latter a silver medalist from the 2008 Games, rounded off the top three giving Asia, as in most badminton events, the best shot at all three podium spots. Ranked fourth was Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark, who would be competing alongside compatriots and 2009 World Champions Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl, giving that nation Europe's best shot at winning a medal. Not to be counted out were the hometown favorites of Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier, who were surprise runners-up at the 2011 World Championships, and Robert Mateusiak and Nadia Kostiuczyk-Zieba of Poland, former world number one and current European champions. Finally, one of the defending Olympic champions, Lee Yong-Dae of Korea was in London, but his squad had fallen to seventh in the world rankings with new partner Ha Jeong-Eun.
There were few surprises in the group stage of the event; Adcock and Bankier were eliminated after failing to win a single match, as were Lee and Ha of Korea, who captured only one victory. In the quarter and semi-finals, Zhang and Zhao went up against the Danes back-to-back, defeating Layborn and Juhl in two rounds, and then Nielsen and Pedersen in three. This set up a match between the two Chinese teams for the gold, as Xu and Ma had eliminated the Polish, and then the Indonesian, duos in three rounds each. In the final, it became clear early on that Zhang and Zhao's talents easily outmatched that of their compatriots, winning in two rounds at 21-11 and 21-17. Nielsen and Pedersen had a similarly dominant run, defeating the Indonesians 21-12 and 21-12 for the bronze.