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Interesting facts about the All England

Dev Sukumar
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974   //    06 Mar 2012, 15:43 IST

Tine Baun with the All England title

- The All England Open was the first major badminton tournament ever held.

- The first All England was played in the drill hall of the London Scottish Rifles at Buckingham Gate, London, on 4th April 1899. It was held over one day and consisted only of doubles competitions.

- By 1902, it became so popular that it had to be shifted to the central transept of the Crystal Palace, and was held over three days. It was here that it got the name ‘The All-England Badminton Championships’ from its earlier title ‘The Badminton Association Tournament’.

- The next year, in 1903, it moved to the London Rifle Brigade’s HQ in Bunhill Row.

- The first sponsored All England was in 1977, when John Player became the main sponsor. Yonex became title sponsor in 1984.

- The All England was considered the world championships until 1977, when the official world championships was announced.

- No championships were held from 1940 to 1946 due to the Second World War. In 1947, Conny Jepsen of Sweden beat India’s Prakash Nath in the final.

- No British men’s singles player has won the title since Ralph Nichols in 1938.

- Sir George Thomas, after whom the Thomas Cup is named, won his first singles title when he was 39! He won his fourth successive All England singles title over an opponent who was 20 years younger than him.

- Kitty McKane, who won four singles titles from 1920 to 1924, was accomplished at tennis as well. She won two Grand Slam titles –Wimbledon (1924, 1926) in the singles and the Olympic gold in 1920 in the doubles.

- Rudy Hartono, who won eight All England titles and was often called ‘The Greatest’, was born Nio Hap Liang.

- Of the four contemporary greats, Taufik Hidayat is the only one who hasn’t won an All England crown.

Dev Sukumar
Dev S Sukumar is the recipient of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Media Award, 2011. He is India's most widely travelled badminton writer, having covered several international tournaments, including the Olympics, the Asian Games, the CWG Games, World Championships, the All England, the Denmark Open, the Malaysia Open, etc. He has covered badminton for over ten years now. During this period he has met fascinating characters, witnessed great matches, and has authored a biography of Indian badminton great Prakash Padukone. He has written on the game for several publications, including Sports Illustrated, Mint, Badminton Asia magazine, The New Indian Express, Hindustan Times, DNA and IANS. He tweets at
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