Olympics Spotlight: Ratchanok Intanon

As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics finally get underway this summer, &ASIAN spotlights a few Asian athletes that might go under your radar.
Photo courtesy of AFP
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Olympics Spotlight: Ratchanok Intanon

Name: Ratchanok Intanon

Date of Birth: February 5, 1995

Discipline: Badminton (Women’s Singles)

Country: Thailand

Competition Dates: Badminton (Women’s Singles) - 24th July - 2nd August, her first match is on July 25th

Why she’s one to watch:

She’s a multi medallist and the only Thai woman to ever hold the rank of World Number One in badminton. She holds five other records and last year beat Spanish badminton titan Carolina Marin at the Indonesia Masters to take gold in her discipline. As of March 2021, she’s ranked sixth in the world.

All of Thailand waits with bated breath to see if she can improve on her achievement of a quarter-final place at London 2012, currently her best result at any Olympic games.

Watch the moment Ratchanok made world history in becoming the youngest ever singles champion in 2013:


  • She is still the youngest ever singles champion at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships. She achieved this at the age of 18.
  • In 2010, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded her the IOC Sport-Inspiring Young People Trophy.
  • Her parents worked in a sweets factory, and it was at the factory’s badminton courts that she first started to play the sport.

Ratchanok can be found on Instagram. Catch her in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this summer.