The Sudirman Cup - the World Mixed Team Championships - is held every two years and is one of the most prestigious titles for badminton. It is also the only BWF world event for men and women competing together in national teams. The event was first hosted in 1989 with 28 national teams. It now attracts more than 50 national teams. Only three nations have won the Sudirman Cup since its inception - Indonesia (1 - once), Korea (3 times) and China (6 times).
The first Sudirman Cup tournament was played in Indonesia in 1989 and it became a biennial event with the first few competitions staged in conjunction with the World Championships. The idea of a mixed team event first came up during IBF(now BWF) Council meetings in 1986 and by 1988 the IBF had accepted and approved the regulations for the competition to be staged in conjunction with the World Individual Championships. The IBF(now BWF) accepted from the Badminton Association of Indonesia, a memorial to the late Dick Sudirman in the form of a cup to be known as the 'Sudirman Cup' and to be presented to the winners of the World Mixed Team Championship. Dick Sudirman, as well as being a long-serving member of IBF(now BWF) Council, first as a Councilor and then Vice-President, was known as the father of Indonesian badminton and was a champion player in his own right. He was a founder of Bulutangkis Seluruh Indonesia (PBSI - The Badminton Association of Indonesia) and served as its President for 22 years. By the 8th Sudirman Cup in the Netherlands (2003), the event had grown sufficiently in world stature for it to become a stand-alone tournament in the world badminton calendar. There is no prize money for this event - just the prestige of playing for ones country. In addition there are valuable BWF World Ranking points to be earned and this is particularly important for countries in the lower groups in an Olympic Qualifying period