|Nozomi Okuhara Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 1 in|
|Date of Birth||March 13, 1995|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Nozomi Okuhara is a Japanese professional badminton player who reached the world number 1 ranking in the official BWF (Badminton World Federation) singles rankings for the first time in October 2019. As of May 2022, she was ranked number 6 in the world. On the BWF World Tour, a series of elite badminton tournaments announced in March 2017 and implemented in 2018, as of July 2022, she had won 5 titles – the 2021 All England Open (Super 1000), the 2020 Denmark Open (Super 750), the 2018 Hong Kong Open (Super 500), the 2018 Korea Open (Super 500), and the 2018 Thailand Open (Super 500). She also finished as the runner-up at the 2018 BWF World Tour Finals, the 2019 Fuzhou China Open (Super 750), the 2019 Denmark Open (Super 750), the 2019 Japan Open (Super 750), the 2018 Fuzhou China Open (Super 750), the 2018 Japan Open (Super 750), the 2019 Singapore Open (Super 500), and the 2019 Australian Open (Super 300). On the BWF Superseries Tour, a series of elite badminton tournaments launched in December 2006 and implemented in 2007, as of July 2022, she had won 4 titles – the 2017 Australian Open, the 2016 All England Open, the 2015 Dubai World Superseries Finals, and the 2015 Japan Open. She also finished as the runner-up at the 2017 Korea Open, the 2015 Hong Kong Open, and the 2014 Hong Kong Open.
Ōmachi, Nagano, Japan
Professional Badminton Player
- Father – Kiyonaga Okuhara
5 ft 1 in or 155 cm
52 kg or 114.5 lbs
Race / Ethnicity
She is of Japanese descent.
She often tends to dye her hair light brown.
- Toned physique
- Ever-changing hairstyle
- Affable smile
- Radiant face
She has been sponsored by Mizuno Corporation, a Japanese sports equipment & sportswear company.
Nozomi Okuhara Facts
- Nozomi was introduced to the sport of badminton at a very young age. She began playing in 2002, aged just 7. Just about 8 years later, she joined the Japanese national team.
- She first came into the spotlight in 2011 when she became the youngest women’s singles champion at the Japanese National Championships.
- At the BWF World Junior Championships, in the girls’ singles event, she won the ‘Gold’ medal in 2012 (Chiba) and the ‘Bronze’ medal in 2011 (Taipei). She also secured the ‘Silver’ medal in 2012 (Chiba) in the mixed team event.
- At the 2012 Gimcheon Badminton Asia Junior Championships, she won the ‘Gold’ medal in the mixed team event and the ‘Silver’ medal in the girls’ singles event.
- In 2013, during the quarter-final stage of the Malaysia Open, she suffered a severe knee injury in the 3rd game and remained out of the international circuit for nearly 12 months.
- On the BWF International Challenge/Series, as of July 2022, she had won 2 titles – the 2015 China International and the 2011 Austrian International; and finished as the runner-up once – the 2010 Lao International.
- On the BWF Grand Prix Tour, a series of badminton tournaments held from 2007 to 2017, as of July 2022, she had won 6 titles – the 2015 U.S. Open, the 2015 Malaysia Masters, the 2014 Korea Grand Prix, the 2014 Vietnam Open, the 2014 New Zealand Open, and the 2012 Canada Open.
- In 2015, during the Malaysian Superseries event, she participated in what was the then longest ever women’s singles match. It was the quarter-final of the tournament, against Wang Shixian, that lasted for 111 minutes. Nozomi lost that match with the score reading 21–19, 15–21, 20–22.
- The following year, she exacted revenge against Wang Shixian when she defeated her in the final of the All England Open, on her birthday, to become the first Japanese women’s singles player to win this prestigious title in 39 years.
- When she won the ‘Bronze’ medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, she became Japan’s first-ever badminton women’s singles player to have won an Olympic medal.
- At the 2017 Glasgow BWF World Championships, seeded 7th, she upset 2-time reigning champion Carolina Marín of Spain in the quarter-final in a grueling battle that lasted 93 minutes. Her semi-final win against Saina Nehwal did not come easy as well – she won in 3 sets having lost the opening set.
- In the final of the tournament, against P. V. Sindhu, Nozomi was involved in what became one of the classic matches of modern badminton history. She eventually won with the score reading 21–19, 20–22, 22–20 in a match that lasted 110 minutes, making it the then 2nd-longest ever women’s singles match. The win made her the first-ever Japanese to win a world title since 1977.
- At the 2018 Jakarta–Palembang Asian Games, she won the ‘Gold’ medal in the women’s team event. At the Badminton Asia Team Championships, representing Japan in the women’s team event, she won the ‘Gold’ medal in 2018 (Alor Setar) and the ‘Silver’ medal in 2016 (Hyderabad).
- In the prestigious Uber Cup, often referred to as the ‘World Women’s Team Championships’, she won the ‘Gold’ medal in 2018 (Bangkok). She also secured the ‘Bronze’ medal in 2016 (Kunshan) and 2022 (Bangkok). The 2018 title was Japan’s first in 37 years and Nozomi did not lose any of her matches in that tournament.
- In the Uber Cup‘s mixed team equivalent, the Sudirman Cup, she clinched the ‘Silver’ medal in 2019 (Nanning) and 2015 (Dongguan). She also secured the ‘Bronze’ medal in 2017 (Gold Coast).
- At the 2019 Basel BWF World Championships, P. V. Sindhu defeated Nozomi easily in straight sets (21-7, 21-7) and she had to settle for the ‘Silver’ medal.
Featured Image by Nozomi Okuhara / Instagram