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Badminton explained

6 Feb 2018 by Fiona Self

Badminton is one of the fastest racket sports in the world and at GC2018, the sport is set to entertain the crowds at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre.

The Commonwealth’s best athletes will come head to head in a test of speed, agility and precision. With the Badminton mixed team draw announced, here’s everything you need to know about the speedy sport, before the Games begins.

How it works

At GC2018, six medal events will be up for grabs including the men’s and women’s singles and doubles, the mixed doubles and the mixed team event.

The first player to reach 21 by two clear points wins the game and the best of three games wins the match. At deuce (20-all) the team or player that scores two points in a row wins the game.

The Commonwealth Games is one of the few competitions to feature the mixed teams event. The exciting format brings men and women and singles and doubles athletes together and the strongest team across all disciplines prevails.

India's Srikanth Kidambi returns during the preliminary round men's singles match during the 2017 BWF World ChampionshipsIndia’s Srikanth Kidambi returns during the preliminary round men’s singles match during the 2017 BWF World Championships.

It starts with the group stage, which sees nations face off against their opponents across all five matches - men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, women’s singles and mixed doubles. Teams play all other three nations in their group before the top two teams play for medals in the knockout rounds. 

The team that wins the most matches will finish at the top of their group. For example, if one team wins all of the five matches contested in a round they will have a score of five for that round, and their opponent will have a score of zero. The top two teams progress to the knockout rounds. 

The mixed team event is held for the first five days of Badminton competition, with medals decided on Monday, 9 April, and can provide an exciting preview of the singles and doubles action to come. 

The following six days of competition will feature the singles and doubles events, including the mixed doubles. 

The training 

Badminton players cover a distance of approximately 5km per match, according to three-time Oceania champion and Olympian, Wendy Chen. 

“We actually run more than tennis players,” Chen told GC2018.com.

“We have to run all the time. As soon as you land you need to be able to take off.

“It requires a lot of body reflexes and great eye and hand coordination. We’re constantly jumping and landing, we’re constantly turning, all the time, you have to come back to the centre position after each shot.” 

Training for badminton is intense, ensuring athletes are prepared for the long rallies, and impact on their bodies. 

For Chen, a training week can include three weight training and court sessions and four gym and running sessions. 

“It’s really high intensity, we have to be really, really fit,” she said. 

Commonwealth contenders 

The competition is shaping to be fast and fierce at GC2018. 

Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei is one of the sport’s highest profile athletes and he took out the singles title in 2006 and 2010 before missing Glasgow due to injury. 

Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia prepares to smash the shuttle in the Men Singles round one match of the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaLee Chong Wei of Malaysia in action with Kenta Nishimoto of Japan during the Men Singles round one match of the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

He set the fastest smash in history in 2015, clocking 408 km/h, an unbelievable feat when you consider the fastest recorded tennis serve is 263.4km/h, set by Australia’s Sam Groth. 

“Lee Chong Wei has been dominating the sport for more than 10 years, he’s even written a book about it,” Chen said. 

In the women’s competition, India is expected to be tough competition with former world number one and Delhi 2010 gold medallist Saina Nehwal and Glasgow 2014 bronze medallist Pursala Venkata Sindhu hopeful to take to the court at the Games.  

Malaysia has taken out the mixed team competition at the past three Games, overcoming England in Glasgow to take out the gold. 

English husband and wife duo, reigning Commonwealth Games champions Chris and Gabrielle Adcock could be a team to watch in the mixed doubles. The team won bronze at the 2017 BWF World Championships and look to be in great form in the lead up to GC2018. 

Badminton at the Commonwealth Games 

Up until the Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth Games, England had dominated Commonwealth Games Badminton ever since it was included on the program in 1966. 

At Kuala Lumpur the tables turned, with Malaysia taking top position on the medal tally. They’ve remained on top for the past five Games and in Glasgow, they won three gold medals. 

View the Badminton mixed team draw. 

Tickets are still available to see Commonwealth Games Badminton live at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre. Get your tickets now.