Venue: Wembley Arena
Dates: Saturday 28th July - Sunday 5th August
Competing Athletes: 172
Medal Events: 5
Badminton is played on a rectangular court split in half by a central net, with singles and doubles events on the Olympic Games programme. Olympic shuttlecocks weigh between 4.74 grams and 5.5g and contain 16 feathers, each plucked from the left wing of a goose. They can travel at speeds in excess of 400km/h.
Matches are played over the best of three games, and each game is won by the first player or doubles pair to reach 21 points by a margin of two clear points. However, if the score reaches 29-29, the winner of the next point wins the game.
At London 2012, there will be five medal events: men’s and women’s Singles, men’s and women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. All events will begin with a preliminary stage: the competitors will be divided into groups, and each player and doubles pair will play everyone else in their group.
The best players and doubles pairs from this stage (16 in each Singles event, eight pairs in each Doubles event) will qualify for the knockout stage of the competition, which will eventually decide the winners of the medals.
- Drive: A fast, low, near-horizontal shot over the net.
- 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.
- Smash: A hard overhead shot, hit directly down into the opposition’s court.
Fantastic video demonstrating some of the best shots in the sport of Badminton