7 Famous Asian Athletes Who Dominated in Sports

Athletes come in all shapes, sizes, and nationalities. Asia has produced some of the most noteworthy sportsmen and women in the world. We’re going to take a look at some of them below. Some famous Asian athletes are household names and others you may not have heard of, despite them being legends in their home countries.

Here’s our list of the top Asian athletes to ever grace the grass, field, pitch, court, and more. There is a lot more to consider beyond trophies and championships when it comes to their value.

1. Tamarine Tanasugarn (Sport: Tennis)

Born in May 1977 and a former police officer, this retired Thai tennis player became a professional in 1994. She rose to fame as being No. 19 in the world in 2002. This is the highest ever ranking for a Thai female tennis player. Playing alongside Maria Sharapova, she also saw success in the doubles, winning two titles. In 2008, Tamarine made it all the way to the singles quarterfinals at Wimbledon. It’s a huge achievement for this Asian athlete, especially one coming from the beautiful country of Thailand.


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2. Jeremy Lin (Sport: Basketball)

This undrafted Asian American point guard rose from obscurity to become the main feature of a season. Transforming to fortune for the Knicks and becoming a legend in basketballs history. Sadly, through a series of injuries, he hasn’t been able to return to the form he had for the magical season. He is however fondly regarded as a solid, experienced point guard and an essential part of the team. His impact on the sport for Asian players was huge and it raised the profile of athletes from Asia in basketball a great deal.


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3. Sachin Tendulkar (Sport: Cricket)

This may take you by surprise but cricket is the second most popular sport in the world. With more than 2 billion fans across the world, this fanbase is mostly in England, India and other Commonwealth, or former Commonwealth countries.

A name that will be on the tip of the tongue for many die-hard cricket fans Tendulkar is considered to be one of the best batsmen in history. This famous Asian athlete is to cricket what Diego Maradona is to soccer and the Brady’s are to football. As Indian athletes go, he is undoubtedly one of the most famous around the world.


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4. Cha Bum-Kun (Sport: Soccer)

South Korean soccer superstar Cha Bum-Kun made a spectacular performance ate the 2002 world cup. South Korea has a love affair with soccer that has yet to spread to the rest of Asia in the same level of intensity. He was a trailblazer for the sport on an international level and now although there is only a few South Korean soccer player in the English Premier League, they are well known and the respect for their skill set is growing. Cha Bum Kun holds the record for the most goals scored by a South Korean international. A record that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.


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5. Sun Yang (Sport: Swimming)

There are a few household names in the sport such as Michael Phelps, but little is known about many of the other swimmers. Now that he has retired from the sport there is a power vacuum as the rest of the swimmers from across the world battle for the top spot. Sun Yang appears more than ready for the challenge. At more than six and a half feet tall he is built for the sport. Holding many medals and a world record it is only a matter of time before he is a household name just like Phelps.


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6. Ichiro Suzuki (Sport: Baseball)

Baseball is huge in Japan and some other Asian countries. Ichiro has become more than just an Aian baseball player. He is a part of Japanese baseball history. After almost a decade in Japan’s Major Leagues, he came over to the US to play for the Mariners. Much like Cha Bum Kun, he put his nation on the map when it came to respecting homegrown players on the world stage. Now it is commonplace to see players make the transition from the Japanese and South Korean baseball leagues to the MLB.


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7. Liu Xiang (Sport: Track and Field)

Asian athletes have always been in the shadows when it comes to track events. Winning the gold medal for China in the 2004 Olympics for the 110m hurdles changed all of that. Liu Xiang changed the paradigm with an excellent performance and changed how the world viewed Chinese track stars.


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8. Manny Pacquiao (Sport: Boxing)

Considered to be one of the best boxers of all time Manny has a huge cult following. He is very well known as having a famously powerful punch. Hailing from the Philipines he is a perfect example of someone who was built to be an athlete. His career shows no sign of slowing down either as he is no over the age of 40.


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