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Thai badminton stars start training for Beijing 2008
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The Thai badminton team will have special training for this year's Olympic Games in Beijing, said president of the Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) Charoen Wattanasin.


The president said that based on the world rankings, Thailand would have four badminton players eligible to take part in the Beijing Games in August. These feature Boonsak Ponsana (men's singles), Salakjit Ponsana (women's singles), Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thung-thongkam (mixed doubles).


"I am quite sure all four will qualify for the Olympics," Charoen was quoted by the Bangkok Post on Thursday as saying.


With six months to go, Charoen said that BAT would draft special plans for each qualified player to make sure they would be in good shape and well prepared for the Games.


According to Charoen, Boonsak, the first Thai to reach the Olympics badminton semifinal in 2004, needs more patience and strength. He must be also trained to play more offensively. As for Salakjit, he said that she must learn how to approach the net as quick as possible.


"For Sudket and Saralee, there is no doubt about their teamwork, " said the BAT president. "What we are concerned about are the unforced errors."


The best hope for the Kingdom is expected to be the mixed doubles where the Thai pair are sixth in the world. Charoen said he hoped the players could pick up some medals.


However, he cautioned "it's very tough because the host nation are very strong in badminton."


(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2008)

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