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India to host badminton Grand Prix from 2007

Badminton Association is going to host a five-star Grand Prix event from 2007, to groom players for C'wealth games.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 21:23 IST

Hosting a five-star badminton Grand Prix is among the host of initiatives taken by Badminton Association of India to groom a selected pool of players, who could win medals for India in Delhi Commonwealth Games and other international meets.

"India has been conspicuous by its absence of hosting Grand Prix events. So we thought of hosting India Open, a five-star event from 2007 onwards," Badminton Association of India, President, VK Verma said.

BAI has also roped in Sunrise-Yonex as sponsors and Mittal Champion Trust for its ambitious plan 'Project 2010' aimed at producing medal winners for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and beyond.

"The project involves identifying 32 players with an eye on the 2010 games and investing significant training and financial resources by training and exposure given to them in the next three years," Verma said.

"Twenty four players have already been identified for the project and eight of the vacant slots will be filled in next three weeks," Verma said.

Sixteen Indian players would be sent abroad, twice a year, for training. Yonex-Sunrise would also sponsor six overseas players for two months to participate in the national camp to enhance the level of training.

India's newly appointed coach, Pullela Gopichand said that there are talented junior players who if given proper exposure can become world beaters.
 
"We have a lot of talented players but talent is not the most important thing. To make them world beaters we need to given them right support and systematic training," Gopichand, 2001 All England Badminton Champion said.

"If we are able to produce a stream of players who can perform well at the international level, media attention will come and it will make a big difference to the sports," Gopichand ruled out his own comeback, saying that it was not possible for him to make a comeback anymore after being out of action with injuries.

Gopichand would be assisted by doubles coach Hadi Sugianto and another Chinese coach. His role would be to provide overall guidance, planning training camps etc.