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Badminton: From Leisure Game to Olympic Sport


Badminton is a popular sport in Malaysia. From a young age, many Malaysians play badminton during their leisure time. During major badminton tournaments, Malaysians are often glued to their TV screens, and can be heard cheering for their country’s players. Malaysia has also produced world-class players such as Lee Chong Wei and the Sidek brothers: Misbun, Jalani and Rashid.

Badminton is played in a rectangular court which is divided by a net. It can be played by two players or four players.

Badminton is a fast game that tests players’ reflexes and stamina. It is also a game of strategy. The game involves players hitting a shuttlecock across the net with their racquets. A shuttlecock has a conical shape and a rounded cork base. The cone part of the shuttlecock can be made of feathers or plastic.

It is believed that badminton is a different version of an earlier game called “battledore and shuttlecock”. “Battledore” was the old name for a racquet.

The current game of badminton may have developed among British officers in India in the 1800s, when the British ruled India. At first, the game was called “Poona” after the Indian town of Pune. Officers who returned to Britain later started a club and the game was further developed there. The game then took its name from Badminton House, a duke’s residence in Britain. It is likely that the British brought the game to Malaya when the land came under British rule.

Initially, the game was played either with a shuttlecock or a wool ball. The British preferred to play with wool ball when the weather was wet or windy. Today, championship matches are played indoors so that wind doesn’t blow away the shuttlecock.

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leisure time (n) – free time; time that is spent doing enjoyable activities.
glued to their TV screens (idiom) – watching TV with great interest.
world-class (adj) – the best in the world.
reflex (n) – (a quick action) done without thinking.
stamina (n) – the ability to do something for a long time.
strategy (n) – a plan.
conical (adj) – having the shape of a cone.
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