15 June 2021

London 2012: Bluffer’s guide to badminton

June 8, 2012
London 2012: Bluffer’s guide to badminton

Badminton was first played by British officers stationed in India back in the mid-18th century but since then Asia’s appetite has proved insatiable, with Indonesia, Korea and China now the sport’s dominant forces.

But the British influence has never disappeared, thanks to the annual staging of its most historic tournament, the All England Championships, which was once considered the unofficial world championship.

Although now staged in Birmingham, the event was originally held at Wembley Arena for 37 years. So it seems fitting now that the biggest championships of all are coming back to the old venue.

Venue: Wembley Arena

Date: July 28 – August 5

Jargon buster

Kill: For a sport which can be played with such feathery touch, a remarkable amount of strength and explosive power is ever present. A kill is an unreturnable shot struck with ferocity straight down into the opponent’s court.

Forecourt: The front section of each half of the court, between the net and the short service line.

Lift: A shot played from beneath the height of the net, normally played high to the back of the court.

Drive: A hard, low horizontal strike across the net.

Smash: An overhead shot hit downwards with maximum force.

Basic rules

The game of badminton is played on a court 13.4 metres long and 6.1 metres wide, which is divided in a half by a net about two metres high.

The purpose of the game is to get the shuttlecock over the net, using a racket, and make it land in your opponent’s half of the court or have them hit it into the net or out of bounds.

Games are won by the first team to reach 21 points, with a margin of at least two points. A match is the best of three games.

At London 2012 players will compete first in a group stage, before progressing to the knock-out stage of the competition.

They will play with a very specific sort of shuttlecock, weighing between 4.74 grams and 5.5g and containing 16 feathers, each plucked from the left wing of a goose. These shuttlecocks can travel at speeds in excess of 250mph.

One to watch

Imogen Bankier – she is partnering Chris Adcock in the mixed doubles. They are currently ranked number ten in the world and won the silver medal at the World Championships.

Also Susan Egelstaff who is competing for GB in the women’s singles event. She is currently ranked number 36 in the world.

Olympic rivalry?

Indonesia, Korea and China dominate the sport at the moment, having won 23 of the 24 gold medals awarded since the sport’s first appearance at the Games.

Who’s the gold medal favourite? China – They won eight out of the 15 medals in Beijing.

Who to follow on twitter…



Badminton Olympic fact

China has won a total of 30 Olympic Badminton medals since 1992 and in comparison, Denmark is the most successful European country with four.

The Women’s Sports Magazine

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