Have faith in Zii Jia - Choong Hann

KUALA LUMPUR: Keep calm and trust Lee Zii Jia, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) singles coaching director Wong Choong Hann said.

Choong Hann said the national men's singles professional ace may be sailing through rough seas at the moment but believed Zii Jia needed time to prove himself.

Despite having left BAM a year ago, Choong Hann felt that it was still too early to judge the current world number two move as he might be finding his feet as the independent shuttler.

"We have to trust whatever decision Zii Jia makes," he said.

The 24-year-old player had come under fire as he failed to clear back-to-back early round exits at the 2023 Malaysia Open followed by 2023 India Open.

Zii Jia went down to Japanese rising star, Kodai Naraoka, 21-13, 17-21, 19-21 in the opening round of Malaysia Open last week and fell short to China's Li Shi Feng in the second round of India Open, 11-21, 21-14, 18-21, last Thursday.

Choong Hann said it was unfortunate for the reigning Asian champion to bow out early in both meets.

"Zii Jia could have put it through if he had been more composed and committed fewer mistakes in crucial moments," he said.

As such, he hoped for the 2021 All England champion to fine-tune on some of the key areas and eventually play much better than the current performance.

Meanwhile, Choong Hann was pleased with 2022 Commonwealth Games men's singles silver medallist, Ng Tze Yong's progress despite being sent home packing early by Naraoka in the second round of Malaysia Open, 21-15, 19-21, 15-21 followed by Shi Feng, 19-21, 14-21 in India Open's first round, last Wednesday.

While Tze Yong was narrowing the gap with other top shuttlers, Choong Hann noted that the world number 27 player remained lacking in terms of making quick decisions on the court.

"I think he is on the right track and we are happy with his progress. However, I can see that sometimes he had a bit of confusion when the opponent tried to make a quick change of tactics but that will change when he has a little bit more of match experience," he said. — BERNAMA

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories