Made-for-television radar guns instantly flash the speed of serves, volleys and pitches to the sporting public around the world these days, but few viewers could name the world's fastest racket sport. The title belongs to badminton.
The flight of the shuttlecock, a missile of cork and goose feather that players volley across the net, has been recorded at speeds of 260 kilometres per hour. Speed, agility and lightning-fast reflexes are essential to the game. Add stamina, too - players have been known to cover more than six kilometres in a single match.
While contemporary badminton first appeared in the mid-19th century, it evolved from the game battledore and shuttlecock, which can be traced back to ancient Greece, China, Japan and India.
Especially popular in Asia and Europe today, badminton became a full competition sport at the Olympic Games in 1992.