Badminton became an Olympic full medal sport in 1992. Before this, it had first appeared as a demonstration sport in 1972, and as an exhibition sport in 1988. Since this time it has increased greatly in popularity, with its equipment such as rackets now being manufactured by multiple companies, but which brand produces the racket preferred by the majority of Olympic athletes?
The most popular badminton racket at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was none other than the Yonex Astrox 100zz, with 18 players or more than 10% of all Badminton Olympic athletes preferring this model to others on the market.
In this article, we are going to discuss the most popular racket used by Olympic athletes in the sport of badminton. So keep reading! We have everything you need to know about the most popular racket used in Olympic Badminton.
Yonex Badminton Rackets
Yonex has been leading the way in badminton rackets since they first started creating their products in 1957. Since the late 50s, they have slowly worked to become one of the largest badminton sports accessory brands in the world, and certainly the most popular among Olympic athletes.
At the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, one hundred and twenty-four players out of a possible one-hundred and seventy-two played with a badminton racket made by the brand Yonex. This means that only fifty-eight players played with an alternative brand.
Well-known players that used a Yonex racket in the Olympics in Tokyo include the Men’s gold medalist, Viktor Axelson. Shi Yuqi, Chen Qingchen, Akane Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki Endo, and Lee Zii Jia are all top-level athletes that also used Yonex badminton rackets at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Yonex Astrox 100zz
Seventy percent of the sponsored athletes participating in Badminton at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 used a Yonex badminton racket, and the most popular among these athletes was the Yonex Astrox 100zz. Eighteen players or just over ten percent of all athletes chose this racket, but why was it so popular?
The Astrox 100 ZZ badminton racket was introduced in early 2020 and was made with a sleek matte finish, adorned by a blue and white design that trailed along the racket. It featured a new kind of technology for rackets which included a hyper slim shaft with a solid core, producing an enhanced snapback that players loved.
The stiff and slim shaft, when combined with the heavy head of the racket, generates exceptional power for the individual wielding it. The racket was overall, an astonishing example of an all-around racket that was suitable for various playing styles. This made it a must-have for the world champion Victor Axelson, as well as the former number one Akane Yamaguchoi.
People have argued that while Yonex has the largest amount of sponsored athletes on their roster, which in turn enables them to push their rackets on a large portion of the badminton world, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have the best equipment.
A large number of players in recent years have joined Yonex as a sponsor simply due to them receiving lucrative deals which can help them further their Olympic future, as well as their personal careers through advertisements and increased popularity.
It’s well known that Yonex is the leading brand in Olympic badminton, but there are others such as Victor and Le-Ning that follow just behind in popularity. The majority of the Chinese badminton team all use Li-Ning, and Lee Yong Dae, a four-time doubles number one, used the Victor brand of rackets for a long time.
The Korean badminton team has recently signed a new five-year contract with Victor, thus while Yonex is certainly the most popular amongst Olympic athletes, they do not control all of the markets.
The Yonex brand has produced the most popular badminton rackets for those participating in the Tokyo Olympics, with over seventy percent of all players using a racket manufactured by Yonex.
The Yonex Astrox 100zz was the most popular racket used by Olympians in Tokyo back in 2020, with over 10% of all players using this one racket. It was known for its new-age technology that made it a racket that suits any playing style.
So if you were going out to buy a racket, aiming to style yourself in a similar fashion to those competing in the Olympics, it would have to be a Yonex badminton racket.