Hyderabad (PTI): National badminton champion Arvind Bhat will shun competition for six weeks and undergo rigorous training to ensure he is at the top of his fitness for prestigious Sudirman Cup in May.
The world number 28 said although he doesn't have any injury problems, his fitness is below his own expectations. "It has been a long time since I took a solid six weeks training. The last time I trained for so long was in July last year. I have been training for two weeks and playing for three weeks in competitions and I don't feel totally in command of my fitness," Arvind told PTI.
"I'm still 10 per cent below my expectation, so I would be taking an off for six weeks for a solid training session to gain that level of fitness.
"Accordingly, I have withdrawn from the Asian Championship and would next play in the Sudhirman Cup in Guangzhou, China from May 10," he added.
Arvind put up a spirited fight but still lost to tournament favourite Taufik Hidayat to crash out of the Indian Open Grand Prix on Thursday.
Arvind said he was surprised by Taufik's range of shots. "I was surprised to see his strong, sharp and crisp strokes. I couldn't gauge his game but this is the first time I was playing against him so may be next time I will beat him," Arvind said.
Arvind said it has been, otherwise, a good year so far as he has got rid of some mental blocks which had troubled him for quite sometime.
"This year, I got rid of some mental blocks. I won the National Championship after five attempts, I beat a Chinese (Pengyu Du) yesterday and I also stretched Olympic gold medallist and world number two Lin Dan to three sets recently in the Swiss Open Super Series. So, I feel it was a pretty good year to start with," he said.
The 29-year-old ace said he is eying to break into the the top-10 bracket by this year end.
"Last year I had set a target of cracking the top 25 but the way this year has started, I guess if I play consistently I should break into the top 10 or 15 by year end," he said.
At the international level, Arvind had made the final of Bitburger Grand Prix and reached the quarterfinals of China Open and Hong Kong Open Super Series last year besides making the pre-quarters of German Open Grand Prix and Korea Super Series this year.
Arvind said he had a very good session in Germany where he has been playing for the last seven years in the German county team. "I had a good session in Germany, I beat the best payers there more than once. I have been playing in the German county team for the last seven years. If you play for five years, you are officially eligible to represent German in all international tournaments, so if I want I can play for Germany but that I won't do even in my wildest dream," he said.