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A ‘crazy’ badminton marathon

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Sandor Jakovics and Krisztina Ihaszy will try to set a Guinness World Record for the longest badminton game on Friday. (Staff Photo by Thomas Bender)

Sandor Jakovics and Krisztina Ihaszy will try to set a Guinness World Record for the longest badminton game on Friday. (Staff Photo by Thomas Bender)

Sandor Jakovics and Krisztina Ihaszy, a pair of Wednesday night regulars at Arlington Park, will try something irregular this weekend. Badminton. Doubles badminton. A marathon of doubles badminton.

They will be half of a foursome attempting to set a Guinness World Record by playing for 34 hours straight.

“It’s not easy,” Jakovics said in uncertain English, “but we can play.” The Sarasota players met as 21-year-old dance partners in Hungary. They came in second at a national Boogie Woogie Dance Championship. Eight years ago, they moved to the United States.

Ihaszy said they used to be a couple, but are no longer together.

Wow, I told her. Complicated. “Yes,” she agreed. “A little bit.”

Arlington ‘crazies’

She and Jakovics will begin their match at 7 a.m. Friday at the All Peoples Life Center gym, 6105 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa. With any luck, they will play until 4 p.m. Saturday.

Badminton coach Watkins Fessal of Clermont and Sue Dickson of Orlando with Krisztina Ihaszy and Sandor Jakovics. (Staff Photo by Thomas Bender)

Badminton coach Watkins Fessal of Clermont and Sue Dickson of Orlando with Krisztina Ihaszy and Sandor Jakovics. (Staff Photo by Thomas Bender)

Their opponents will be Sue Dickson, who plays out of Miami, and Watkins Fessal, a badminton coach in Orlando.

Fessal is one of the “Four crazies” who play with the Sarasota Badminton Club on Wednesdays at Arlington Park. The marathon was his idea to attract sponsors and raise money for the nonprofit Badminton Academy of Florida.

“He’s the craziest one of us,” said Ihaszy. “But we said yes. It seems like a good idea. It’s fun.”

She remembers competing in a dance marathon years ago.

“I was fresh,” she said. “That was easy.”

Eating, drinking, playing

Ihaszy, 44, runs her own cleaning company in Sarasota. She also teaches Hungarian and plays tennis and table tennis.

Jakovics, 43, works for a window-cleaning company. He plays tennis and does some running.

Both of them are fit. Both of them are devoted to the game of badminton.

“I don’t know why,” Jakovics said. “I like the faster moments and badminton is fast, the world’s fastest racket sport.”

In the marathon match, they will get 15-minute breaks every three hours. Otherwise, it will be serve and return, attack and defense, lob and smash, with games to 21 points. This weekend, they will play hundreds of games. To keep going, they will eat sandwiches and drink Gatorade, coconut water and coffee, for the caffeine. They’ve practiced playing for several hours at a time. Morale is crucial. Momentum is important. “If you stop with the movements after 10 or 20 hours, it’s difficult to continue,” Jakovics said. “It’s better if you don’t stop except for eating and drinking.”

Last modified: July 24, 2014
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