Ratchanok Intanon (Thai: รัชนก อินทนนท์, RTGS: Ratchanok Inthanon, pronounced [rát.t͡ɕʰā.nók ʔīn.tʰā.nōn]; born 5 February 1995) is a Thai badminton player who became the first Thai to become No.1 in women's singles. She is known for her relaxed hitting motion and light footwork, which has been described as 'balletic' by commentators such as Gillian Clark. She became world champion in women's singles in 2013.
|Birth name||Ratchanok Intanon|
|Born||5 February 1995|
|Height||1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||58 kg (128 lb)|
|Career record||396 wins, 176 losses|
|Highest ranking||1 (21 April 2016)|
|Current ranking||5 (17 March 2020)|
In 2008, Intanon entered the international circuit at an unbelievable young age of 13. The first International tournament she played was the Laos International series in which she played both in singles and doubles event. She lost the singles final to Vietnam's Lê Ngọc Nguyên Nhung. Intanon won her first individual International title in 2009, while she was only 14, by winning the Vietnam International Challenge. She made history by becoming the youngest-ever champion at the 2009 BWF World Junior Championships at 14 in Malaysia by beating Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, her compatriot. She reached final of Malaysia International Challenge 2009, losing out to Sapsiree Taerattanachai. She also reached the 2009 Southeast Asian games women's singles final, but lost to her compatriot Salakjit Ponsana.
In 2010, at the age of 15, she successfully defended her title at the 2010 BWF World Junior Championships in Mexico by beating Misaki Matsutomo. Her successful run continued after she won Smiling Fish International Event, beating teammate Rawinda Prajongjai. She won back-to-back Grand Prix tournaments by winning the Vietnam Open Grand Prix beating China's Zhou Hui and Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold after winning from Cheng Shao-chieh, top Chinese Taipei's player. In the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, she won a silver medal as a member of the women's team. In the final, she lost to Wang Xin, at that time world number 1, 22–20, 17–21, 14–21.
She participated in Bwf World Championships & lost in 3rd round to eventual winner Wang Yihan. She was a finalist at the Chinese Taipei Open where she was defeated by Sung Ji-hyun. She became the most successful player ever in individual events at the BWF World Junior Championships, winning the women's singles title for the third straight time. This time by defeating Indonesia's Elyzabeth Purwaningtyas. She won the 2011 Syed Modi Grand Prix where she received a walkover against Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in final. She was also a member of the women's team that defeated Indonesia in the final of the Badminton at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games. She herself was a bronze medalist in singles event, where she lost in the semifinals to Singapore's Fu Mingtian.
In 2012, Intanon, at 16 years of age, was awarded the Best Female Athlete Award in Thailand after winning the world junior title for three successive years. She reached the finals of the SCG Thailand Open 2012 but lost to Saina Nehwal 19–21, 21–15, 21–10 in the finals. After defeating higher seeded Germany's Juliane Schenk in round of 16, she reached quarterfinals of 2012 Olympic Games where she set her clash with 2nd seed Wang Xin. Despite leading 21–17 and 16–9 in the second game, she failed to close the match and eventually lost 21–17, 18–21, 14–21. She entered the finals of a Super Series tournament for the first time in the 2012 China Open Super Series Premier but lost to Li Xuerui 12–21, 9–21. She qualified for the 2012 BWF Super Series Finals and won all of her group matches in straight games against formidable opponents Juliane Schenk, Tine Baun & Saina Nehwal. She lost in the semifinals there to Wang Shixian. She finished the year as world number 9.
2013 was Intanon's best year of her career. She reached the finals of the 2013 All England Open Badminton Championships, losing to Tine Rasmussen 14–21, 21–16, 10–21. She was the youngest ever singles finalist at the All England tournament. She lost in the final again by getting defeated from Wang Shixian in the 2013 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold. She won her first Superseries tournament by beating Juliane Schenk 22–20, 21–14 in the 2013 Yonex Sunrise India Open to become the youngest-ever Superseries winner at the age of 18 years, 2 months and 22 days (she held this record for 6 months until Akane Yamaguchi won the 2013 Japan Open at the age of 16). She again reached the finals of the SCG Thailand Open 2013. This time she won the title, beating Busanan Ongbumrungpan 20–22, 21–19, 21–13 to become the first Thai ever to win the women's singles title at the Thailand Open since it was first held in 1984.
She withdrew from both the Indonesia Open SSP and Singapore Open SS to recover from her foot injury and prepare for the BWF World Championships. In World Championships in August, Intanon was seeded 4th. She reached the quarterfinals of this tournament for the first time, where she defeated Carolina Marín in a very hard-fought encounter. Her semifinal path was relatively easy, where she won against P. V. Sindhu in 2 games. In the final, she won the title, beating out world number 1 and Olympic gold medalist Li Xuerui 22–20, 18–21, 21–14 She was the first-ever Thai player to be the World Champion. At the age of 18, she was also the youngest singles World Champion ever. She became the World Champion while still being eligible to play in the 2013 BWF Junior World Championships in Bangkok. After the World Championships, she injured her back, which affected her performance and due to that, she failed to qualify for the 2013 BWF Super Series Finals and finished 2013 as the World number 3. She was awarded the "2013 Best Females Athletes Award" from the Thailand Sports Authority.
Intanon reached the final of the Korea Open for the first time where she met her nemesis Wang Yihan. Her losing streak against Yihan continued further after she lost 13–21, 19–21. She was awarded "Best Asian Sporting Icon" by Fox Sports Asia, based on voting from internet fans on its website. She reached the finals of the Indonesia Open but again lost to Li Xuerui 13–21, 13–21. She failed to defend World Championships title by losing in the second round to Japanese Minatsu Mitani 21–8, 12–21, 18–21. She was defeated by Bae Yeon-ju in the quarterfinals of 2014 Asian Games by 4–21, 21–18, 8–21 scores. She qualified for the Super Series Final in Dubai but failed to pass the round-robin after losing group matches against Tai Tzu-ying (1–2) & Akane Yamaguchi (1–2). She finished the 2014 year as World number 6.
Intanon made a comeback by reaching the final of the India Open for the second time but lost to her opponent, Saina Nehwal, 16–21, 14–21. A month later, she became the first Thai singles player to win the Asia Championship by defeating Li Xuerui in the final match 20–22, 23–21, 21–12 in China. It was the first time that Intanon had beaten Li since the final of the 2013 World Championships. In June, she won her first Super Series Premier title by beating Yui Hashimoto of Japan in straight games, 21–11, 21–10, at the Indonesia Open. However, at the BWF World Championships, she had to retire from court when 8–5 up in the decider against Lindaweni Fanetri in the round of 16 from cramp yet again.
She won a gold medal with the Thailand Women's team at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. After the Indonesia Open, she did not reach the final of any tournaments but earned enough points to qualify for the Dubai Super Series Final tournament. In the group stage, she lost to Wang Yihan (1–2), but won 2 other matches against Wang Shixian (2–0) & Sung Ji-hyun (2–1) henceforth progressed to semifinals. She lost to Wang Yihan there, which brought their head-to-head record to 0–12. She finished the 2015 season at world number 7.
Intanon won the 2016 Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters, a second Grand Prix Gold tournament in Thailand, by beating Sun Yu in the final 21–19, 18–21, 21–17. She won the Indian Open Super Series for the second time by beating Li Xuerui in the final 21–17, 21–18. In the 2016 Malaysia Super Series Premier the week after, she finally won a match over Wang Yihan by beating her in the semifinal 21–11, 21–19. In the final, she beat Tai Tzu-ying 21–14, 21–15 to earn the Malaysia Open title for the first time. It was Intanon's first time to win two consecutive Superseries tournaments. Intanon then became the first singles player to win three Superseries in three consecutive weeks by winning the Singapore Super Series, defeating Sun Yu in the final. By winning three Superseries in a row, Intanon also rose to the No.1 spot in the world rankings, becoming the first Thai to achieve this feat. Her Winning streak ended after she lost to Sayaka Sato in the Asian Championships.
Intanon qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics and was the Thai flag bearer. At the Olympics she failed to pass the Round of 16, losing to the Japanese rising star, Akane Yamaguchi, in a two-gamer 19–21, 16–21. After Olympics, she suffered a knee injury which forced her to retire from various upcoming tournaments. Her performance eventually declined, but she was able to qualify for the Super Series Finals. Intanon lost in straight games to Sung Ji-hyun & Tai Tzu-ying, and retired injured against He Bingjiao. She finished 2016 at a world ranking of 5.
She played in her first tournament of 2017 in March, the Yonex All England Open. She made her way to the quarter-finals, where she faced off against world no. 2, Carolina Marín. Intanon won 22–20, 13–21, 21–18. She was 11–18 down in the rubber set but won 10 straight points to close out the match. In the semifinals, she faced Akane Yamaguchi. Intanon won 22–20, 21–16 in 48 minutes of play to secure a spot in the final against Tai Tzu-ying. Tai beat Intanon 16–21, 20–22.
Intanon later in the year took the SCG Thailand Open title, beating compatriot Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the final, 21–18, 12–21, 21–16. She also won the Skycity New Zealand Open beating Saena Kawakami in the final 21–14, 16–21, 21–15. She was disappointed in the World Championships when she went on losing side against Chen Yufei in quarterfinal. She participated in the Denmark Open Premier Series where she beat Sung Ji-hyun and Tai Tzu-ying. Intanon met Akane Yamaguchi in the final, and beat her in a three game match with 21–19 in the rubber set when she was 16–19 down, to win the title. She said that she dedicated the title to Thailand's king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who had died, the year before. She qualified for the season ending Superseries Finals where she defeated Sung Ji-hyun (2–0) & Tai Tzu-ying also in 2 games. Although she lost the 3rd group match to Chen Yufei (1–2), still she reached the knockout phase. She was defeated by Akane Yamaguchi there, in 3 games where Ratchanok spoiled her lead in the 3rd game.
At the beginning of the year, Intanon participated in and won the Malaysia Masters Super 500 tournament, beating Tai Tzu-ying in the finals, winning 24–22 in the third set. In the World Championships, she lost to Saina Nehwal in the second round. At the Asian Games, Intanon made it to the quarter-final stage before losing out to Saina Nehwal again. She made the finals of the Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open, losing to Nozomi Okuhara 19–21, 22–24. She qualified for the HSBC World Tour Finals, where she finally ended her Losing streak against Chen Yufei in 3 games. She lost to Nozomi Okuhara (1–2) but defeated Canada's Michelle Li (2–0) to secure semifinal spot. She lost in the semifinals to eventual gold medalist P. V. Sindhu. She finished the year at world no. 8.
Intanon participated in the Malaysia Masters Super 500, hoping to defend her title. She won all of her matches in straight sets, to set up a final against Carolina Marín. She beat Marin 21–9, 22–20 to successfully defend her title. At the final of German Open Super 300 She lost to Akane Yamaguchi in three games, losing 23–25 in the deciding game. Intanon then won her third Indian Open title by beating He Bingjiao with 21–15, 21–14. This was Intanon's first victory over her. She lost the final of Thailand Open to her nemesis Chen Yufei in close 2 games. She won the bronze medal at 2019 Basel World Championship after losing to Nozomi Okuhara in three tight games 21–17, 18–21, 21–15 in the semifinals. Intanon was just one points away from Korea Open Title when playing against He Bingjiao in final, but was denied by tenacity of her opponent who saved 4 match points and won the next game to snatch out victory from Intanon.
Intanon failed an out-of-competition drug test in April but the Thai star was not banned by the BWF. The BWF statement reads: "The ethics hearing panel determined Ms. Ratchanok Intanon committed an anti-doping rule violation, but as the athlete was able to demonstrate that her adverse analytical finding was related to the ingestion of meat contaminated with clenbuterol, she was found to bear no fault or negligence for the violation, and thus no period of ineligibility has been imposed on her." Her jinx of losing against Chen Yufei continued when she lost to her in the final of Hongkong Open. She participated in World Tour Finals, where she beat Busanan Ongbamrungphan in straight games in Round 1, she lost to Tai tzu-ying in very hardly contested match, failing in 3 sets. Her hopes of qualifying for knockout round disappear when she lost to Nozomi Okuhara in the last group match.
Records currently heldEdit
- Youngest ever singles champion at the BWF World Championships (2013, age of 18 years, 6 months and 6 days)
- Youngest ever champion of the BWF World Junior Championships (2009, age of 14)
- First ever three-time champion in a single discipline of the BWF World Junior Championships (2009, 2010, 2011)
- Youngest ever singles finalist of the All England Open Badminton Championships (2013, age of 18)
- First ever singles player to win three Superseries titles in three consecutive weeks
- First ever Thai badminton player ranked World #1
BWF World ChampionshipsEdit
|2019||St. Jakobshalle, Basel, Switzerland||Nozomi Okuhara||21–17, 18–21, 15–21||Bronze|
|2013||Tianhe Sports Center, Guangzhou, China||Li Xuerui||22–20, 18–21, 21–14||Gold|
|2015||Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium, Wuhan, China||Li Xuerui||20–22, 23–21, 21–12||Gold|
Southeast Asian GamesEdit
|2011||Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia||Fu Mingtian||17–21, 21–19, 20–22||Bronze|
|2009||National Sports Complex, Vientiane, Laos||Salakjit Ponsana||14–21, 21–18, 10–21||Silver|
BWF World Junior ChampionshipsEdit
|2011||Taoyuan Arena, Taipei, Taiwan||Elyzabeth Purwaningtyas||21–6, 18–21, 21–13||Gold|
|2010||Domo del Code Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico||Misaki Matsutomo||21–13, 16–21, 21–10||Gold|
|2009||Stadium Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar, Malaysia||Porntip Buranaprasertsuk||21–15, 21–23, 21–10||Gold|
Asian Junior ChampionshipsEdit
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
|Pijitjan Wangpaiboonkj|| Ou Dongni
BWF World TourEdit
The BWF World Tour, announced on 19 March 2017 and implemented in 2018, is a series of elite badminton tournaments sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). The BWF World Tour is divided into six levels: World Tour Finals, Super 1000, Super 750, Super 500, Super 300 (part of the HSBC World Tour), and the BWF Tour Super 100.
|2020||Indonesia Masters||Super 500||Carolina Marín||21–19, 11–21, 21–18||Winner|
|2019||Hong Kong Open||Super 500||Chen Yufei||18–21, 21–13, 13–21||Runner-up|
|2019||Korea Open||Super 500||He Bingjiao||21–18, 22–24, 17–21||Runner-up|
|2019||Thailand Open||Super 500||Chen Yufei||20–22, 18–21||Runner-up|
|2019||India Open (3)||Super 500||He Bingjiao||21–15, 21–14||Winner|
|2019||German Open||Super 300||Akane Yamaguchi||21–16, 14–21, 23–25||Runner-up|
|2019||Malaysia Masters (2)||Super 500||Carolina Marín||21–9, 22–20||Winner|
|2018||Hong Kong Open||Super 500||Nozomi Okuhara||19–21, 22–24||Runner-up|
|2018||Malaysia Masters (1)||Super 500||Tai Tzu-ying||21–16, 14–21, 24–22||Winner|
The BWF Superseries, launched on 14 December 2006 and implemented in 2007, is a series of elite badminton tournaments sanctioned by Badminton World Federation (BWF). The BWF Superseries has two levels: Superseries and Superseries Premier. Since 2011, each Superseries season has featured twelve tournaments around the world, with successful players invited to the Superseries Finals held at the end of the year.
|2017||Denmark Open||Akane Yamaguchi||14–21, 21–15, 21–19||Winner|
|2017||All England Open||Tai Tzu-ying||16–21, 20–22||Runner-up|
|2016||Singapore Open||Sun Yu||18–21, 21–11, 21–14||Winner|
|2016||Malaysia Open||Tai Tzu-ying||21–14, 21–15||Winner|
|2016||India Open (2)||Li Xuerui||21–17, 21–18||Winner|
|2015||Indonesia Open||Yui Hashimoto||21–11, 21–10||Winner|
|2015||India Open||Saina Nehwal||16–21, 14–21||Runner-up|
|2014||Indonesia Open||Li Xuerui||13–21, 13–21||Runner-up|
|2014||Korea Open||Wang Yihan||13–21, 19–21||Runner-up|
|2013||India Open||Juliane Schenk||22–20, 21–14||Winner|
|2013||All England Open||Tine Baun||15–21, 21–16, 10–21||Runner-up|
|2012||China Open||Li Xuerui||12–21, 9–21||Runner-up|
BWF Grand PrixEdit
|2017||New Zealand Open||Saena Kawakami||21–14, 16–21, 21–15||Winner|
|2017||Thailand Open (2)||Busanan Ongbumrungpan||21–18, 12–21, 21–16||Winner|
|2016||Thailand Masters||Sun Yu||21–19, 18–21, 21–17||Winner|
|2013||Thailand Open||Busanan Ongbumrungpan||20–22, 21–19, 21–13||Winner|
|2013||Swiss Open||Wang Shixian||16–14, 12–21||Runner-up|
|2012||Thailand Open||Saina Nehwal||21–19, 15–21, 10–21||Runner-up|
|2011||Syed Modi International||Porntip Buranaprasertsuk||Walkover||Winner|
|2011||Chinese Taipei Open||Sung Ji-hyun||20–22, 15–21||Runner-up|
|2010||Indonesian Masters||Cheng Shao-chieh||21–12, 19–21, 21–16||Winner|
|2010||Vietnam Open||Zhou Hui||21–17, 22–20||Winner|
BWF International Challenge/SeriesEdit
|2010||Smiling Fish International||Rawinda Prajongjai||21–10, 21–17||Winner|
|2009||Malaysia International||Sapsiree Taerattanachai||11–21, 21–19, 20–22||Runner-up|
|2009||Vietnam International||Maria Elfira Christina||21–18, 21–14||Winner|
|2008||Laos International||Lê Ngọc Nguyên Nhung||22–20, 14–21, 18–21||Runner-up|
|2010||Smiling Fish International||Pijitjan Wangpaiboonkj|| Rodjana Chuthabunditkul
|2008||Laos International||Pisit Poodchalat|| Dương Bảo Đức
Thái Thị Hồng Gấm
|16–21, 21–18, 17–21||Runner-up|
Intanon is the daughter of Winutchai Intanon and Kumpan Suvarsara. She also has a brother. She is half-blooded from the provinces of Roi Et and Yasothon. Her father is a native of Yasothon and her mother is a native of Roi Et. She was born in Yasothon Province in the northeast of Thailand, but moved at the age of three months with her parents, who worked at the Banthongyord sweets factory in the Bang Khae District of Bangkok. As a child, Intanon would run around the factory floor. Factory owner Kamala Thongkorn, worried that she would be burned by boiling water and hot sugar, allowed Intanon to play at the factory's badminton courts. She started playing when she was six years old, and won her first championship at the age of seven.
Intanon used her prize money and endorsement fees to aid her parents and brother. Her father opened a food shop with her help. "I wanted to be a national player like my older friends and play for the country, because that was the only way I could help my parents to improve our status and leave poverty," she has said.
|Current year (2020)||13||10||3||+7|
|Current year (2020)||0||0||0||0|
- Prize money
- Statistics were last updated on 17 March 2020.
|Southeast Asian Games||Silver||Bronze|
|BWF Super Series||BWF World Tour|
|All England||A||1R||2R||F||SF||QF||QF||F||1R||1R||QF||F (2013,2017)|
|India Open||A||QF||1R||W||A||F||W||QF||SF||W||Q||W (2013, 2016, 2019)|
|Malaysia Open||A||1R||1R||A||1R||2R||W||QF||SF||QF||Q||W (2016)|
|Australian Open||Grand Prix Gold||2R||1R||QF||2R||A||SF||SF (2011, 2019)|
|China Open||A||QF||QF||F||QF||QF||1R||A||SF||1R||QF||F (2012)|
|Denmark Open||A||SF||1R||SF||2R||A||W||2R||2R||W (2017)|
|French Open||A||1R||QF||QF||SF||SF||A||QF||QF||QF||SF (2014, 2015)|
|Hong Kong Open||A||QF||A||1R||2R||2R||SF||A||SF||F||F||F (2018, 2019)|
|Indonesia Open||A||2R||1R||A||F||W||1R||1R||QF||QF||W (2015)|
|Japan Open||A||1R||1R||QF||A||1R||2R||QF||2R||QF||1R||QF (2012, 2016, 2018)|
|Korea Open||A||1R||2R||1R||F||1R||2R||QF||2R||F||F (2014, 2019)|
|Singapore Open||A||2R||A||QF||QF||W||1R||w/o||QF||W (2016)|
|BWF Super Series Finals||A||SF||A||RR||SF||RR||SF||SF||RR||SF (2012, 2015, 2017, 2018)|
|BWF Grand Prix Gold and Grand Prix||BWF World Tour|
|Malaysia Masters||2R||1R||2R||A||A||A||A||A||A||W||W||R2||W (2018, 2019)|
|Indonesia Masters||NH||W||2R||A||A||A||A||A||N/A||SF||QF||W||W (2010, 2020)|
|Thailand Masters||NH||NH||NH||NH||NH||NH||NH||W||A||A||A||QF||W (2016)|
|German Open||A||2R||QF||A||F||A||F (2019)|
|Swiss Open||N/A||N/A||1R||SF||F||A||A||2R||A||A||A||A||F (2013)|
|Australian Open||A||SF||2R||A||Super Series||BWF World Tour||SF (2011)|
|Fuzhou China Open||A||QF||A||QF||QF||QF (2012, 2018, 2019)|
|Chinese Taipei Open||A||QF||F||A||SF||A||F (2011)|
|Syed Modi International||N/A||N/A||W||A||NH||A||A||A||A||A||A||W (2011)|
|Korea Masters||NH||QF||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||w/d||A||QF (2010)|
|Macau Open||1R||1R||1R||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||1R (2009, 2010, 2011)|
|New Zealand Open||N/A||W||A||A||W (2017)|
|Thailand Open||2R||NH||1R||F||W||NH||SF||A||W||w/d||F||W (2013, 2017)|
|U.S. Open||N/A||N/A||SF||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||SF (2011)|
|Vietnam Open||N/A||W||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||W (2010)|
Record against selected opponentsEdit
Record against year-end Finals finalists, World Championships semifinalists, and Olympic quarterfinalists. Accurate as of 13 March 2020.
Honors and awardsEdit
Intanon has won many awards and honors in recognition of her achievements.
|The International Olympic Committee (IOC)||IOC Sport-Inspiring Young People Trophy||2010|
|The Badminton World Federation (BWF)||BWF Most Promising Player of The Year 2009 – Eddie Choong Trophy||2009|
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- ประกาศสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง พระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์อันเป็นที่สรรเสริญยิ่งดิเรกคุณาภรณ์ ประจำปี ๒๕๕๕, ราชกิจจานุเบกษา
- ประกาศสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง พระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์อันเป็นที่สรรเสริญยิ่งดิเรกคุณาภรณ์ ประจำปี ๒๕๕๖, ราชกิจจานุเบกษา
- ประกาศสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง พระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์อันเป็นที่สรรเสริญยิ่งดิเรกคุณาภรณ์ เป็นกรณีพิเศษ [นางสาวรัชนก อินทนนท์], ราชกิจจานุเบกษา
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ratchanok Intanon.|
- Ratchanok INTANON at BWF.tournamentsoftware.com
- Ratchanok INTANON at BWFbadminton.com
- Ratchanok Intanon at BadmintonLink.com
| Flagbearer for Thailand
Rio de Janeiro 2016