Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
Date Started: July 28, 2012
Date Finished: August 4, 2012
Format: Single-elimination tournament.
Two-time Olympic badminton women’s singles champion Zhang Ning of China had retired after her victory at the 2008 Games, leaving a more open field for the 2012 edition. Ranked number one in the world since October 2009 was her student, Wang Yihan, winner of numerous accolades including a victory at the most recent World Championship. With [Wang Xin] and Li Xuerui ranked second and third respectively, China was the dominant force going into the Olympics and a favorite to capture all three podium spots.
The Chinese competitors did not disappoint, winning every match they played in the group stage in two rounds. They were only slightly less dominant in the round of 16 and the quarterfinals – it took three rounds for Wang Yihan to defeat Bae Yeon-Ju of Korea in the round of 16, while Inthanon Ratchanok of Thailand was toppled by Wang Xin in three during the quarterfinals – but they remained favorites for all three medals going into the semifinalssemi-finals, with India’s Saina Nehwal rounding out the four. Wang Yihan easily defeated Nehwal 21-13, 21-13 to earn her spot in the final, while a much more-hotly contested match between Li and Wang Xin ended in a 21-20, 21-18 victory for Li. The final was somewhat surprising, with Li defeating the number one-ranked Wang Yihan 21-15, 21-23, 21-17, but most attention centered around the bronze medal-match, where Nehwal became the first competitor from India to win an Olympic badminton medal amid somewhat controversial circumstances. Wang Xin had won the first round of the match 21-18 and had already scored her first point in the second when a knee injury forced her to retire and cede victory to Nehwal. While Wang Xin’s teammates, and many observers, felt that she would have won the match had it continued to its natural end, Nehwal was confident that she had been wearing down her opponent and that she would have captured bronze regardless.
|5T||Cheng Shao-Chieh||26||Chinese Taipei||TPE|
|5T||Tine Rasmussen Baun||33||Denmark||DEN|
|5T||Yip Pui Yin||24||Hong Kong||HKG|
|9T||Bae Yeon-Ju||21||South Korea||KOR|
|9T||Tai Tzu-Ying||18||Chinese Taipei||TPE|
|17T||Jing Yi Tee||21||Malaysia||MAS|
|17T||Susan Egelstaff||29||Great Britain||GBR|
|17T||Seong Ji-Hyeon||20||South Korea||KOR|
|17T||Rena Wang||20||United States||USA|
|17T||Kristina Ludíková-Gavnholt||23||Czech Republic||CZE|
|33T||Sara Blengsli Kværnø||29||Norway||NOR|
|33T||Thilini Jayasinghe||27||Sri Lanka||SRI|