The Asia Pacific Post Oct 7, 2004 World's fastest racketeers come to play in Richmond They jump higher than most basketball players. Their hits make even the fastest tennis serve or the hardest thrown baseball in the major leagues look like a slow motion picture. By the time one player completes one game, he would have run a mile, made 300-plus changes of direction of 90Â° involving split-second reflexes and would have hit over 250 shots that can top 180 mph speed. China's badminton stars in action Welcome to the world of badminton, one of the most widely played games in the world where the top stars are among the most conditioned athletes in the world. This month in Richmond, some of the worldâ€˜s fastest shuttlers will be showcasing their skills at the 2004 World Junior Badminton Championships, an event that has the Asian community buzzing. Badminton is a sport that is dominated by Asians and a game played widely in the East. Badminton B.C. estimates that over 10,000 spectators will view the World Junior Badminton Championships over the two-week period which will be held at the Minoru Arena beginning October 15. â€œWith the strong Asian demographics of the City of Richmond, we anticipate that over 55 per cent of the spectators will be of local Asian descent,â€œ said the Ajay Patel, Executive Director of Badminton B.C. â€œThis sport enjoys a strong profile within the Asian community.â€œ Over 30 countries are expected to compete at the World Junior Championships, including Australia, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Taiwan, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand and Zambia. The stars are both on and off the court. Among those slated to attend the event is Anand Pawar of India who won the junior Wimbledon badminton crown recently. Pawar, 18 said he is looking forward to the event where he will go up against shuttlers from China. â€œThe (Wimbledon) title has boosted my confidence and I am looking forward to performing well in Vancouver. Right now I am concentrating on the team events as they are scheduled before the individual event,â€ Pawar told Indian media while training in Bangalore. One star who will be off the court is Malaysian coach Misbun Sidek. Misbun and his brothers Razif, Jalani and Rashid â€” were the mainstays of the Malaysian badminton team for years, bringing home the All-England doubles title and the singles runners-up medal. They also delivered two Olympic bronze medals and helped bring home the Thomas Cup in 1992. Misbun told Malaysian media recently that he is hoping to turn his band of young racketeers into world beaters after a recent spate of disappointing tournaments. The Sidek brothers invented the controversial S-serve which was eventually banned.