Three days after smashing the Guinness World Record for the fastest hit by a male player, Indian ace shuttler S atwiksairaj Rankireddy   smashed a 500 kmph hit at the Korean Open 2023 quarterfinal round. Earlier, in the same tournament, Rankireddy broke a decade-long record held by Malaysian player Tan Boon Heong, which he set in May 2013 with a smash speed of 493 kmph. Notably, the 2022 Commonwealth gold medallist recorded a speed of 565 Kmph. A high-speed camera and a tracker are used to calculate the speed of the smash. 

According to BWF, the tracker is customised to record a shuttle’s flight path, which can show its speed in real-time at any point. When a shot is played, the system calculates the exact point of impact the shuttle makes with the racquet by analysing the inbound and outbound tracks. On the basis of the data, the speed at which the shuttle leaves the racquet is calculated and is available immediately. 

As per a BWF official, the entire tracker is customised to the latest rally, and in case it is a winning shot, then the fastest smash or winner smash speed. 

Speaking of Rankireddy’s record-breaking smash, the speed of his hit was faster than that of the top speed that a Formula 1 car can achieve. The 22-year-old, and his men’s doubles partner Chirag Shetty, advanced to the semifinal round of the Korea Open 2023, where they will take on the Chinese duo of Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang on July 22, Saturday.