Sho Sasaki is a former male badminton player from Japan. He was born on June 30, 1982 in Hokkaido . He is regarded as one of the best Japanese players to have endured the sport, competing in four Asian Games and in two Olympic Games.
Born in Northern Japan, Sho started playing badminton when he was in 1st Grade simply because all the other kids played badminton. He became a professional at the meagre age of just 11. He represented the Tonami Transportation badminton team for a few years before going on to represent the national team at 22.
As a men’s singles player, the left handed specialist had won the 2007 Japanese National Championships and the 2010 Osaka International Challenge. He went on to win 7 international tournaments, few of which were:- The Bahrain Tournament, The Israel International, The Mauritius International and the Italian International. In 2010, he was the winner of the Yonex Dutch Open. He vaulted from World Number 25 to World Number 9 in a short span of 9 months.
Sho Sasaki had competed in four Asian Games from 2002 to 2014. He was also part of The London and Rio Olympics. He lost in the quarterfinals of the London Olympics to the eventual champion and his idol, Lin Dan. In the Rio Games he failed to get past the group stage.
Ranked as high as World Number 6 in his career in 2012, his best individual results were in that year, winning The Yonex Australian Open and The US Open. He also won the Silver medal in The Badminton Asia Championships 2014. However his finest moment was at the Thomas Cup in 2014, when he helped Japan win the title for the first time. He gave the world’s top rankers a good run for their money.
In May 2012, he received the People's honour award from Hokuto City and this was followed by The Sports Award in 2013 at the Toyama Shinbun Culture, Performing Arts and Sports Awards Ceremony.
Japan’s long-time Men’s Singles competitor Sho Sasaki has retired from international badminton, his last international match being the group-stage loss to England’s Rajiv Ouseph at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The left-hander was a main player in Japan’s campaigns for close to a decade. Although the 36-year-old never won many major individual titles, he was a tough nut to crack for the other top players.