The doubles win by Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin was Taiwan’s second gold medal, after Kuo Hsing-Chun won in weightlifting, and added to its biggest medal haul in Olympic history. Taiwan sits 18th in the table. Chinais first. Nevertheless, social media was awash with celebrations.
In a post on Facebook, Lee dedicated the win to “my country, Taiwan”. President Tsai Ing-wen congratulated the team for “winning the first badminton gold medal in our country”. Both phrases were deliberate, and fed into a reignited debate over a decades-old rule that has forced the island’s team to compete at the Olympics under “Chinese Taipei”, a name that exists on no map. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) formally recognised Beijing over Taiwan in the 1970s, and barred Taiwan from competing under its own name or as a country.