The Badminton World Federation rankings
for May 2008 provide much of the basis for selecting badminton competitors at the Beijing Olympics. Those rankings reveal some amazing statistics!
When you look at the five top-ranked players or teams in mens singles, womens singles, mens doubles, womens doubles, and mixed doubles, it's clear that China stands out. Of those 25 top positions, players from China occupy 14 of them. Three of the top five men and four of the top five women players hail from China. Three of the top five womens doubles teams and three of the top five mixed doubles teams will represent China.
It's only in mens doubles that China has a comparative weakness! In that bracket, they only have one team. It is however, the second-ranked team in the world.
Another way to look at this is to explore the Badminton World Federation's testing pool
of registered badminton athletes. These are the top athletes who are being monitored to ensure there's no use of banned performance-enhancing chemicals. Again, China leads all countries as it has 28 badminton players on this list, thereby giving it the largest pool from which to provide Olympic badminton competitors.
Finally, do not discount the home court advantage
. You can be sure that Chinese players will be familiar with the exact conditions on court, the exact same shuttles, and the likely schedules for their competitions. A home court advantage held by a well-coached team is a very real thing.
Expect their opponents to face very formidable obstacles.
Expect China to dominate
in the medal race for Olympic badminton in Beijing.