Lack of fitness has often seen Zulfadli Zulkifli withdrawing from tournaments
NATIONAL singles coach Tey Seu Bock has urged Zulfadli Zulkifli to focus more on his fitness level if the world junior champion wants to achieve his true potential.
Seu Bock said though Zulfadli is naturally gifted and has exceptional skills, it will mean nothing on the senior stage if he doesn't start improving on his physical condition.
Zulfadli became Malaysia's first boys' singles winner in the World and Asian Juniors last year and the 19-year-old is seen as the answer to the imminent departure of Lee Chong Wei from the international stage soon.
However, lack of fitness has also seen Zulfadli regularly withdrawing from tournaments and Seu Bock believes the shuttler should emphasise more on his physical strength to progress faster.
"The senior stage demands high levels of fitness and power. Zulfadli has exceptional skills but he must start improving on his physical condition if he wants to achieve his true potential," said Sea Bock at Juara Stadium yesterday.
"The men's singles is so demanding that shuttlers like Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan and Chen Long have always made it a point to work hard to maintain their physical condition at the highest level.
"Chong Wei will be 30 this year but he is the fittest player in the team. Lin Dan is also very skillful but if his fitness level drops, he tends to struggle against his main rivals."
The BA of Malaysia (BAM) council has already given the go ahead for Zulfadli to train for the Axiata Cup beginning Mar 23 and later continue training with the Thomas Cup squad.
National Sport Institute (NSI) director general Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz has already instructed Roesdi Ghani, who is in charge of Chong Wei's fitness training, to come up with a programme for Zulfadli