Zii Jia open to ABM return

KUALA LUMPUR: Men's singles Lee Zii Jia will have no issues returning to Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara to train as long as the terms and conditions are good.

The reigning Asian champion, who is expected to move up to No 3 in the world today, believes the plan to welcome professional players back at the national training centre, if executed properly, will benefit both parties.

"I think it's a good thing for both professionals and BAM players. We need to see how we can work together," said Zii Jia, who turned independent in January.

"But I need to know what kind of conditions BAM will have first."

The former All England champion feels BAM should make the first move as they were the ones who mooted the idea.

Zii Jia's sister, Lee Zii Yii, who is also his manager, said they will look into the proposal before making further comments.

For now, Zii Jia is focusing on his own professional team, which consists of head coach Indra Wijaya, assistant Liew Daren, Sandra Fiedler (physiotherapist), Lim Joe Heang (physical trainer) and two sparring partners.

"So far, we're doing alright. It is not really about what he has and doesn't. More importantly is what Zii Jia needs to focus on his own preparation," added Zii Yii.

BAM, who have tasked high-performance director Dr Tim Jones and secretary-general Datuk Kenny Goh to look into the plan, have yet to make a statement.

However, they are expected to meet with the professional players and coaches this week to iron out details and discuss further.

In the meantime, Zii Jia confirmed he and his team will head to Denmark a week before the Super 750 Denmark Open on Oct 18-23 to train alongside reigning Olympic and world champion Viktor Axelsen and his compatriot Anders Antonsen.

Zii Jia also explained that he might compete in the Hylo Open on Nov 1-6 and the Australia Open on Nov 15-20 to collect points to qualify for the season-ending World Tour Finals on Dec 14-18.

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