'Fitness key to competing successfully'

updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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Former world badminton doubles champion, Razif Sidek has said that Indian doubles pairs would have to improve their physical fitness if they were to successfully compete at the international level. Sidek, who has been training Indian doubles pairs for nearly a month here, said their physical fitness was not upto international standards. He favoured longer training camps and stressed the need for pairs to train together for longer periods, than short stints. Sidek said the doubles pairs of V Diju/Sanave Thomas and Jose George/Rupesh Kumar had impressed him most amongst the 17 trainees - 13 boys and four girls. He said he did not like the new seven-point format. "The 15-point format is the best and enjoyable". Sidek said he had an offer from Mauritius and was likely to accept it. Thirty nine-year-old Sidek, during his one decade career, bagged 22 international titles, including the world doubles championship and All England doubles championship. Sidek has been training Indian doubles pairs here from October 9 and his stint ends on November nine. The camp has been organised with an eye on the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Manchester next year, according to the general secretary of Badminton Association of India, S S Mani. Mani, who submitted his resignation on Oct 19, asking to be relieved of his responsibilities after the camp, told reporters last night that BAI would like Sidek to make three more trips (of six weeks each) to India before the Games. The government had agreed in principle to it. A formal communication was expected soon, he said. (PTI)