A Badminton Shot faster than 500 km/h? (ft. Carolina Marin) | Is It Possible?


I’m Carolina Marin,
Olympic champion. My sport demands mental speed,
explosive movement and punching power. Do you think it is possible
to hit a shuttlecock at more than 500
kilometers an hour? In some respects, badminton is a highly
underrated sport. The racket is super
lightweight, the shuttlecock a curious
shape, and the net reminiscent
of childhood games. But when the pros whip up
the court, the shuttlecock can travel
at unbelievable speeds. Badminton is a very fast sport. I think people aren’t aware
until they see it live, because it’s true that on TV
it seems slower, but people are impressed by
the speed of the shuttlecock. So, what is the difference
between the singles game, where you have won Olympic Gold
and three World Championships, versus playing doubles? Tactically, the singles game
is one on one so you have the whole court
to yourself. The tactic is very varied
and compared to the doubles it’s two against two in which they cover half
of the court or sometimes one gets in front and one
behind. The game in general is very
different. The shuttlecock goes much
faster and there is much more variety in attack. Technology plays a huge part. In badminton, how has the
evolution of the racket helped increase speeds? At first it was played with
a wooden racket and now we play with
a customized racket for each player. For example, I like that it
weighs a little more in the head, and that the rod in the center
is flexible for my attack. The tighter the strings,
the faster the shuttle goes. Yes, of course. The important
thing is the power with which you hit
the shuttlecock. The power and the strength
comes from the athlete. It is a coordinated force
that is applied to the shuttlecock, but the work is done by
the racket because in the end, all that
flexibility and the material with which
the racket is made of is of great help when it comes
to exerting that speed on the shuttlecock. The speed of the shuttlecock
is a very eye-catching thing and it must be noticed by new
fans who are able to recognize badminton as the fastest racket
sport in the world. We know the BWF,
the Badminton World Federation, is developing a synthetic
shuttlecock. How do you think that will
change speeds? I think it’s going to change
everything a lot, both the tactics
and the technique of each of the players when hitting,
and the speed on the court with which you move will depend
a lot on how fast the shuttlecock goes. I think a synthetic shuttlecock
is going to fly perhaps slower than a feathered shuttlecock, but in the end, it’s all
a matter of trying it. The shuttles are a lot more
rigid than they used to be, a lot more solid. They tend to last longer than
they used to. Overall, the quality is much
higher than it used to be. Long term, we know we’ve got
the sustainability issue with the use of feathers. There are a lot of companies
at the moment looking at an artificial replacement
for the use of feathers. The feedback I have received
from some tournaments in which a test has been used is that the spin is different,
and the sound is different and not so pleasant to the
natural feathers. For us, the application
of the science of sport is very important and that is what allows us to
analyze much better the needs of each player
and in particular that of Carolina and raise their physique
towards the needs of the game, and even through physical
preparation create game styles that had not
yet been explored for the female individual. I think you have to train all
the muscles in the body, especially to have good timing
with your legs because you have to have strong
legs to move around well and get to the shuttlecock. Once you get to the shuttlecock
you have to have a lot of strength and compensate
well with the shoulder, and to finish off a lot
of forearm and wrist strength. So, based on the physical
ability of the player, the evolution of the badminton
racket, and the advent of
a synthetic shuttlecock, is it possible to hit
a badminton shot faster than 500 kilometers
per hour? Without a doubt, I think it is
possible, having a good physique,
having a good timing along with the shuttlecock, and especially the most
important thing that the moment the shuttlecock
comes off of the racket, that is going to be the fastest
badminton moment. Nothing is impossible. I’m sure
we’ll see it and not in a long time.

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