Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games Primer: Badminton

After nearly capturing Canada's first ever Olympic badminton medals under bizarre circumstances, former doubles teammates Alex Bruce and Michelle Li will compete separately in Glasgow.

Olympic semifinalists Bruce, Li to compete separately

Canada's Michelle Li, back, and Alex Bruce nearly captured an Olympic doubles medal in London, but are no longer playing together. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

As a core event, badminton has been a part of every Commonwealth Games since the sport's debut in Kingston, Jamaica in 1966.

In Glasgow, the six badminton events — singles and doubles for men and women, mixed doubles and a mixed team competition — will be held indoors on the six courts at Emirates Arena.

Singles and doubles events employ a straight knockout draw. In the mixed team competition, countries square off in preliminary rounds before a knockout format decides the medals.

China has traditionally dominated badminton at the elite level, winning more than half the titles at the world championships since their inception in 1977. Indonesia, Denmark and South Korea are also strong but, like China, aren't involved in the Commonwealth Games.

Malaysia, England and India are the only Commonwealth countries to win Olympic badminton medals since the sport debuted as a full event in 1992. Neither has won gold.

Canadians to watch

Alex Bruce and Michelle Li came within one win of capturing Canada's first ever Olympic badminton medal after a bizarre scenario unfolded at the London Games. Four of the world's best teams were expelled from the tournament for brazenly throwing preliminary matches in order to secure more favourable matchups in the knockout rounds. Bruce and Li, both from the Toronto area, played their way into the semis before dropping a pair of matches to miss out on a medal.

They'll compete separately in Glasgow, where Bruce will compete in both women's and mixed doubles and Li will play singles. Li has climbed into the top 20 in the world rankings in her event, with only three Commonwealth athletes ahead of her, giving her a shot at her first medal.


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