Ratchanok Intanon is a Thai woman badminton player born on 5th February 1995. She hails from the Bang Khae district of Bangkok in Thailand. She was the first Thai shuttler to be ranked World No.1. As of March 2021, she is ranked 6 in BWF women's singles rankings.
Ratchanok Intanon was born to Winutchai Intanon and Kumpan Suvarsara. She comes from a poor family, where both her parents worked at a sweet factory in Bang Khae district of Bangkok. Ratchanok would roam around the factory, which feared the factory owner whether she would get burned by the hot sugar and boiling water.
At the young age of 6, Ratchanok began to play badminton and pursue the sport seriously. A year later, she won her first badminton title. She had gone through a lot of hardships throughout her badminton journey. She would often use her earnings from tournaments and endorsements to aid her family. With her help, her father, Winutchai Intanon, opened the food shop.
Ratchanok Intanon currently trains at Banthongyord Badminton School under the tutelage of an erstwhile Olympian and doubles player, Patapol Ngernsrisuk.
Rise to Glory:
Ratchanok Intanon made her senior international debut in 2008 at Laos International and reached the Singles and Mixed Doubles finals of the tournament. In 2009, she won her first international title at the Vietnam International by defeating Indonesia’s Maria Elfira Christina. That year, she won the Silver medal in Singles at the Southeast Asian Games, followed by her first international title at the Vietnam Open.
Ratchanok has three Gold medals (2011, 2015, and 2019) and a Bronze (2009) in the Women’s Team, and a Bronze medal (2011) in Singles at the Southeast Asian Games. She was part of the Thai Mixed Team that won three Bronze medals in 2013, 2017, and 2019 at the Sudirman Cup.
In 2016, Ratchanok and her Thai women’s team won the Bronze medal at the Asian Team Badminton Championships.
Ratchanok Intanon won her first international medal in 2009, winning the Bronze in Mixed Team at the Asian Junior Badminton Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That year, in November, she got her international breakthrough by crowning as World Junior Champion, followed by Bronze in Mixed Team at the World Junior Badminton Championships.
In 2010, Ratchanok bagged two Bronze medals in Doubles and Mixed Team at the Asian Junior Badminton Championships. In April, she defended her World Junior Championships title. That year, in October, she won her first Grand Prix Gold title at the Indonesian Masters. Thereafter, Ratchanok went on to bag 5 Grand Prix Gold titles including Syed Modi International (2011) and Thailand Masters (2016).
At the 2018 Asian Games, she was part of the Thai women’s team that won the Silver medal in the Women’s Team event at Jakarta in Indonesia. In 2011, with 3rd consecutive World Junior Championships title, Ratchanok became the first badminton player to retain the World Junior Champion crown twice.
In 2013, Ratchanok Intanon became the youngest World Champion by defeating Li Xuerui at the World Badminton Championships. She was part of the women's national team that won the Silver medal (2018) and Bronze (2012) at the Uber Cup. She also has 6 World Superseries and 4 World Tour titles under her belt.
Ratchanok bagged a Gold medal in Singles at the 2015 Asian Badminton Championships. A year later, she made her Olympics debut at the Rio Olympics but lost to Japanese shuttler Akane Yamaguchi in the 1st round. In 2019, she settled for the Bronze medal after losing to eventual runner-up Nozomi Okuhara at the World Badminton Championships.
Ratchanok Intanon qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and is seeded No.5 in the Women’s Singles.