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Zhao Yunlei (born August 25, 1986) is a mixed and women's doubles badminton athlete from China. She graduated with a BA from Huazhong University of Science and Technology . She is the first and only badminton player to have ever won two Gold medals in the same Olympic edition, winning in both the Mixed and Women's Doubles categories in 2012. Zhao joins the ranks with nine other players with two Olympic Gold Medals, the highest number of Gold Medals won by any badminton athlete. Through her performance at the 2014 and 2015 BWF World Championships, she became the first player to win two consecutive gold medals in two consecutive BWF World Championships.

Zhao Yunlei
赵芸蕾
Zhao Yunlei 2009EAG.jpg
Zhao Yunlei at the 2009 East Asian Games.
Personal information
Country China
Born (1986-08-25) August 25, 1986 (age 32)
Yichang, China[1]
Height1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)[2]
Weight61 kg (134 lb)[2]
HandednessRight
CoachChen Qiqiu
Women's & mixed doubles
Highest ranking1 (XD) 1 (WD) (February 02, 2011)
BWF profile
Zhao Yunlei
Traditional Chinese趙芸蕾
Simplified Chinese赵芸蕾

As of the 2015 BWF World Championships, she has become the most successful player in World Championship medal count, with a total of ten medals, overtaking Gao Ling, who has a total of nine. In addition, by winning the 2015 BWF World Championships Mixed Doubles title, she and partner Zhang Nan have won three World Championship Mixed Doubles titles, the first pairing ever to have done so. By winning the Asian Games Mixed Doubles Gold Medal in 2014, Zhao completed the record of winning the Double "Grand Slam" – winning the Olympics, World Championships, Asian Games, Asia Championships, and All-England Championships in both the Mixed Doubles and Women's Doubles categories, as well as the World Mixed Team Championships (Sudirman Cup), World Women's Team Championships (Uber Cup), Asian Games Women's Team Gold Medal, and Asia Women's Team Championships.

She is regarded by many as one of the best female doubles players in the history of badminton alongside past greats, such as former teammate Gao Ling. Zhao has achieved massive overall success in both the Mixed and Women's Doubles categories, having won a total of 63 individual career titles (38 in Mixed, 25 in Women's). Among these 63 individual titles, 42 of them are Super Series titles (27 in Mixed, 15 in Women's), making her the third most successful player in terms of overall Super Series achievements, and the most-successful female player in this regard as well. After the 2016 Olympics, Zhao retired from international badminton competition.

Contents

CareerEdit

Zhao played with Tian Qing in the women's doubles and with Zhang Nan in the mixed doubles. She and Zhang Nan were the World Ranked Number One pairing in Mixed Doubles. In Women's Doubles, she and Tian Qing were World Number One's in Women's Doubles. She had been Cheng Shu's women's doubles partner before pairing with Tian Qing. She is the first and only badminton player to win two gold medals in the same Olympic edition.

2010

Zhao and Zhang won the 2010 All England Open Mixed Doubles title, being the first players and pairing to have ever won the title through beginning at the qualifying stage. Zhao and Tian won the 2010 Asian Games gold medal after vanquishing compatriots Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang 20–22, 21–15, and 21–12. Zhao also participated in China's women's team which gain a gold medal too.

2011

In January, Zhao and Zhang won the 2010 VICTOR-BWF World Super Series Finals (having held during January 2011) in Taiwan, in the Mixed Doubles category, after defeating Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thungthongkam of Thailand 21–17, 21–12 in the final. Zhao also reached the final in the Women's Doubles category with Cheng. Two weeks later, they triumphed at Seoul by winning the Korea Open Super Series Premier. In the final, they conquered compatriots Tao Jiaming and Tian Qing. Zhao and Tian reached the women's doubles final as well. In August, at the 2011 BWF World Championships in London, Zhao and Zhang won the Mixed Doubles title, with this being Zhao's first ever overall World Championship Gold Medal and first ever Mixed Doubles World Championship Gold Medal. She also won a silver medal in the Women's Doubles category with Tian as well. In October, Zhao Yunlei and Zhang Nan reached the Denmark Open Super Series Premier Mixed Doubles semi-final but they lost to Denmark's Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen 12–21, 21–14, and 20–22. However, Zhao and Zhao managed to reverse this, by winning against Nielsen and Pedersen in the Mixed Doubles finals at both the Hong Kong Open Super Series and China Open Super Series Premier. In December, Zhao and Zhang won the 2011 BWF World Super Series Finals Mixed Doubles title, successfully defending the title first won in January of the 2011 year.

2012

In July–August at the London Olympics, she won two gold medals for China: Mixed Doubles with Zhang Nan and Women's doubles with Tian Qing.

2013

In August at the 2013 BWF World Championships in Guangzhou, she won bronze in both the Mixed doubles with Zhang and the Women's doubles with Tian.

2014

In August at the 2014 BWF World Championships in Copenhagen, she won both the Mixed doubles with Zhang and the Women's doubles with Tian, with this being Zhao's first World Championship Women's Doubles Gold Medal. In September, Zhao and Zhang won the 2014 Asian Games Mixed Doubles title, avenging the loss from four years ago. In December, Zhao and Zhang won the 2014 BWF World Super Series Finals Mixed Doubles title. Zhao was also awarded the 2014 BWF Female Player of the Year Award.

2015

In August at the 2015 BWF World Championships in Jakarta, she successfully defended her titles in both the Mixed doubles with Zhang and the Women's doubles with Tian.

2016

In April–May, Zhao and Zhang won the 2016 Asian Championships Mixed Doubles title. In August, Zhao and Zhang won a bronze medal in Mixed Doubles at the 2016 Olympic Games. This is her third Olympic medal in addition to the two golds won four years ago.

Personal lifeEdit

She was in a relationship with her mixed doubles partner, Zhang Nan. But just before the 2016 Olympic Games, she announced that they had parted ways. In 2018, she married Hong Wei, another former national teammate and men doubles' shuttler.

AchievementsEdit

Olympic GamesEdit

Women's Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2012 Wembley Arena, London, England   Tian Qing   Mizuki Fujii
  Reika Kakiiwa
21–10, 25–23   Gold

Mixed Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2016 Riocentro - Pavilion 4, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
21–7, 21–11   Bronze
2012 Wembley Arena, London, England   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
21–11, 21–17   Gold

BWF World ChampionshipsEdit

Women's Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2015 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia   Tian Qing   Christinna Pedersen
  Kamilla Rytter Juhl
23–25, 21–8, 21–15   Gold
2014 Ballerup Super Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
21–19, 21–15   Gold
2013 Tianhe Sports Center, Guangzhou, China   Tian Qing   Eom Hye-won
  Chang Ye-na
16–21, 19–21   Bronze
2011 Wembley Arena, London, England   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
20–22, 11–21   Silver
2010 Stade Pierre de Coubertin, Paris, France   Cheng Shu   Ma Jin
  Wang Xiaoli
21–10, 10–21, 13–21   Bronze
2009 Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad, India   Cheng Shu   Zhang Yawen
  Zhao Tingting
21–17, 17–21, 16–21   Silver

Mixed Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2015 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia   Zhang Nan   Liu Cheng
  Bao Yixin
21–17, 21–11   Gold
2014 Ballerup Super Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
21–12, 21–23, 21–13   Gold
2013 Tianhe Sports Center, Guangzhou, China   Zhang Nan   Tontowi Ahmad
  Liliyana Natsir
21–15, 18–21, 13–21   Bronze
2011 Wembley Arena, London, England   Zhang Nan   Chris Adcock
  Imogen Bankier
21–15, 21–7   Gold

Asian GamesEdit

Women's Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2014 Gyeyang Gymnasium, Incheon, South Korea   Tian Qing   Nitya Krishinda Maheswari
  Greysia Polii
17–21, 21–19, 17–21   Bronze
2010 Tianhe Gymnasium, Guangzhou, China   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
20–22, 21–15, 21–12   Gold

Mixed Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2014 Gyeyang Gymnasium, Incheon, South Korea   Zhang Nan   Tontowi Ahmad
  Liliyana Natsir
21–16, 21–14   Gold
2010 Tianhe Gymnasium, Guangzhou, China   Zhang Nan   Shin Baek-cheol
  Lee Hyo-jung
19–21, 14–21   Silver

Asian ChampionshipsEdit

Women's Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2012 Qingdao Sports Centre Conson Stadium, Qingdao, China   Tian Qing   Bao Yixin
  Zhong Qianxin
21–14, 21–15   Gold
2011 Sichuan Gymnasium, Chengdu, China   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
13–21, 10–21   Silver
2007 Bandaraya Stadium, Johor Bahru, Malaysia   Cheng Shu   Yang Wei
  Zhao Tingting
10–21, 11–21   Silver

Mixed Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2016 Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium, Wuhan, China   Zhang Nan   Tontowi Ahmad
  Liliyana Natsir
16–21, 21–9, 21–17   Gold
2013 Taipei Arena, Taipei, Chinese Taipei   Zhang Nan   Ko Sung-hyun
  Kim Ha-na
20–22, 17–21   Silver
2012 Qingdao Sports Centre Conson Stadium, Qingdao, China   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
21–13, 21–12   Gold
2011 Sichuan Gymnasium, Chengdu, China   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
15–21, 21–15, 25–23   Gold

Asian Junior ChampionshipsEdit

Girls' Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2004 Hwacheon Indoor Stadium, Hwacheon, South Korea   Ding Jiao   Feng Chen
  Pan Pan
5–15, 15–8, 15–12   Gold

BWF SuperseriesEdit

The BWF Superseries has two level such as Superseries and Superseries Premier. A season of Superseries features twelve tournaments around the world, which introduced since 2011, with successful players invited to the Superseries Finals held at the year end.

Women's Doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2015 Hong Kong Open   Tian Qing   Tang Yuanting
  Yu Yang
21–15, 21–12   Winner
2015 Denmark Open   Tian Qing   Jung Kyung-eun
  Shin Seung-chan
Walkover   Runner-up
2015 Japan Open   Zhong Qianxin   Christinna Pedersen
  Kamilla Rytter Juhl
21–12, 21–16   Winner
2014 Dubai World Superseries Finals   Tian Qing   Misaki Matsutomo
  Ayaka Takahashi
17–21, 14–21   Runner-up
2014 Hong Kong Open   Tian Qing   Misaki Matsutomo
  Ayaka Takahashi
21–13, 21–13   Winner
2014 China Open   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
16–21, 21–19, 20–22   Runner-up
2014 Australian Open   Tian Qing   Misaki Matsutomo
  Ayaka Takahashi
21–15, 21–9   Winner
2014 Indonesia Open   Tian Qing   Ma Jin
  Tang Yuanting
Walkover   Winner
2013 French Open   Tian Qing   Bao Yixin
  Tang Jinhua
13–21, 17–21   Runner-up
2013 Singapore Open   Tian Qing   Misaki Matsutomo
  Ayaka Takahashi
21–19, 21–16   Winner
2013 All England Open   Cheng Shu   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
18–21, 10–21   Runner-up
2012 Hong Kong Open   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
22–20, 14–21, 21–17   Winner
2012 Indonesia Open   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
21–17, 9–21, 16–21   Runner-up
2012 All England Open   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
21–17, 21–12   Winner
2012 Korea Open   Tian Qing   Ha Jung-eun
  Kim Min-jung
21–18, 21–13   Winner
2011 Hong Kong Open   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
12–21, 2–14 Retired   Runner-up
2011 French Open   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
24–26, 15–21   Runner-up
2011 Denmark Open   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
20–22, 16–21   Runner-up
2011 Singapore Open   Tian Qing   Ha Jung-eun
  Kim Min-jung
21–13, 21–16   Winner
2011 Korea Open   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
18–21, 21–19, 4–21   Runner-up
2011 Malaysia Open   Tian Qing   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
21–12, 6–21, 21–17   Winner
2010 World Superseries Finals   Cheng Shu   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
7–21, 17–21   Runner-up
2010 China Open   Cheng Shu   Ma Jin
  Zhong Qianxin
Walkover   Winner
2010 Japan Open   Cheng Shu   Wang Xiaoli
  Yu Yang
17–21, 6–21   Runner-up
2010 All England Open   Cheng Shu   Du Jing
  Yu Yang
22–20, 16–21, 13–21   Runner-up
2010 Korea Open   Cheng Shu   Mizuki Fujii
  Reika Kakiiwa
21–16, 21–15   Winner
2009 French Open   Cheng Shu   Ma Jin
  Wang Xiaoli
13–21, 8–21   Runner-up
2009 China Masters   Cheng Shu   Du Jing
  Yu Yang
15–21, 15–21   Runner-up
2009 Indonesia Open   Cheng Shu   Chin Eei Hui
  Wong Pei Tty
16–21, 16–21   Runner-up
2009 All England Open   Cheng Shu   Zhang Yawen
  Zhao Tingting
13–21, 15–21   Runner-up
2008 Hong Kong Open   Cheng Shu   Zhang Yawen
  Zhao Tingting
14–21, 13–21   Runner-up
2008 China Masters   Cheng Shu   Zhang Dan
  Zhang Zhibo
21–14, 21–11   Winner
2008 Japan Open   Cheng Shu   Chin Eei Hui
  Wong Pei Tty
21–19, 5–21, 21–18   Winner

Mixed Doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2015 Hong Kong Open   Zhang Nan   Liu Cheng
  Bao Yixin
21–17, 17–21, 21–17   Winner
2015 China Open   Zhang Nan   Joachim Fischer Nielsen
  Christinna Pedersen
21–19, 17–21, 21–19   Winner
2015 Korea Open   Zhang Nan   Tontowi Ahmad
  Liliyana Natsir
21–16, 21–15   Winner
2015 Japan Open   Zhang Nan   Joachim Fischer Nielsen
  Christinna Pedersen
21–17, 18–21, 21–23   Runner-up
2015 Indonesia Open   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
17–21, 16–21   Runner-up
2015 Singapore Open   Zhang Nan   Lu Kai
  Huang Yaqiong
Walkover   Winner
2015 Malaysia Open   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
21–16, 21–14   Winner
2015 All England Open   Zhang Nan   Tontowi Ahmad
  Liliyana Natsir
21–10, 21–10   Winner
2014 Dubai World Superseries Finals   Zhang Nan   Liu Cheng
  Bao Yixin
21–15, 21–12   Winner
2014 Hong Kong Open   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
21–14, 21–19   Winner
2014 China Open   Zhang Nan   Yoo Yeon-seong
  Eom Hye-won
23–25, 21–14, 21–18   Winner
2014 Japan Open   Zhang Nan   Michael Fuchs
  Birgit Michels
21–12, 21–16   Winner
2014 All England Open   Zhang Nan   Tontowi Ahmad
  Liliyana Natsir
13–21, 17–21   Runner-up
2014 Korea Open   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
21–18, 21–18   Winner
2013 World Superseries Finals   Zhang Nan   Joachim Fischer Nielsen
  Christinna Pedersen
21–12, 19–21, 10–21   Runner-up
2013 French Open   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
28–26, 21–18   Winner
2013 Denmark Open   Zhang Nan   Tontowi Ahmad
  Liliyana Natsir
21–11, 22–20   Winner
2013 Japan Open   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
Walkover   Winner
2013 China Masters   Zhang Nan   Yoo Yeon-seong
  Eom Hye-won
21–18, 21–12   Winner
2013 Indonesia Open   Zhang Nan   Joachim Fischer Nielsen
  Christinna Pedersen
24–22, 20–22, 21–12   Winner
2013 All England Open   Zhang Nan   Tontowi Ahmad
  Liliyana Natsir
13–21, 17–21   Runner-up
2013 Korea Open   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
13–21, –16, 21–13   Winner
2012 World Superseries Finals   Zhang Nan   Joachim Fischer Nielsen
  Christinna Pedersen
21–17, 12–21, 14–21   Runner-up
2012 Hong Kong Open   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
21–17, 21–17   Winner
2012 Malaysia Open   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
21–12, 21–9   Winner
2011 World Superseries Finals   Zhang Nan   Xu Chen
  Ma Jin
21–13, 21–15   Winner
2011 China Open   Zhang Nan   Joachim Fischer Nielsen
  Christinna Pedersen
21–11, 21–14   Winner
2011 Hong Kong Open   Zhang Nan   Joachim Fischer Nielsen
  Christinna Pedersen
15–21, 21–17, 21–17   Winner
2011 Indonesia Open   Zhang Nan   Tontowi Ahmad
  Liliyana Natsir
20–22, 21–14, 21–9   Winner
2011 Korea Open   Zhang Nan   Tao Jiaming
  Tian Qing
21–17, 13–21, 21–19   Winner
2010 World Superseries Finals   Zhang Nan   Sudket Prapakamol
  Saralee Thungthongkam
21–17, 21–12   Winner
2010 Hong Kong Open   Zhang Nan   Joachim Fischer Nielsen
  Christinna Pedersen
20–22, 21–14, 20–22   Runner-up
2010 China Open   Zhang Nan   Tao Jiaming
  Tian Qing
18–21, 17–21   Runner-up
2010 Japan Open   Zhang Nan   Tao Jiaming
  Tian Qing
21–19, 22–20   Winner
2010 All England Open   Zhang Nan   Nova Widianto
  Lilyana Natsir
21–18, 23–25, 21–18   Winner
2008 China Open   Xu Chen   Lee Yong-dae
  Lee Hyo-jung
16–21, 15–21   Runner-up
     Superseries Finals Tournament
     Superseries Premier Tournament
     Superseries Tournament

BWF Grand PrixEdit

The BWF Grand Prix has two levels, the Grand Prix Gold and Grand Prix. It is a series of badminton tournaments, sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) since 2007.

Women's doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2016 Thailand Masters   Tian Qing   Tang Yuanting
  Yu Yang
11–21, 21–12, 23–21   Winner
2011 Thailand Open   Tian Qing   Cheng Shu
  Bao Yixin
21–7, 21–8   Winner
2010 German Open   Cheng Shu   Ma Jin
  Wang Xiaoli
22–24, 15–21   Runner-up
2009 German Open   Cheng Shu   Pan Pan
  Tian Qing
18–21, 21–13, 21–16   Winner
2008 Macau Open   Cheng Shu   Ma Jin
  Wang Xiaoli
21–15, 21–18   Winner

Mixed Doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2010 Bitburger Open   Zhang Nan   Michael Fuchs
  Birgit Overzier
22–20, 21–9   Winner
2009 Malaysia Masters   Xu Chen   Zheng Bo
  Ma Jin
5–5 Retired   Runner-up
2009 German Open   Xu Chen   Zheng Bo
  Ma Jin
21–18, 23–21   Winner
2008 Macau Open   Xu Chen   Yohan Hadikusumo Wiratama
  Chau Hoi Wah
21–15, 21–16   Winner
     Grand Prix Gold Tournament
     Grand Prix Tournament

BWF International Challenge/SeriesEdit

Women's Doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2007 Austrian International   Cheng Shu   Pan Pan
  Tian Qing
21–18, 21–13   Winner
     BWF International Challenge tournament
     BWF International Series tournament

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Zhao Yunlei won 2 Olympic Gold Medals in London". en.hubei.gov.cn. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b Zhao Yunlei. sports-reference.com

External linksEdit