Badminton

Zii Jia: I need to regain my self confidence [NSTTV]

CHENGDU: Is professional men's singles shuttler, Lee Zii Jia's confidence rattled now?

This was due to the fact that Zii Jia admitted that he needs to regain his self-confidence ahead of the last eight competition in the 2024 Thomas Cup finals, after going down to world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen 16-21, 22-24, in the last Group D fixture between Malaysia and Denmark, here, yesterday.

The world No. 10 even said that the gap was still there between him and Axelsen, which saw the Dane secure his sixth win in nine meetings.

"Today's game need to be improved. I mean I had set very high personal expectations and expect myself to perform even better.

"Everyone knows that these past two to three years I went through ups and downs and struggled to find my best condition. For me I was not satisfied and still have much more things to do," he told reporters at the mixed zone, here.

Meanwhile, men's doubles player Aaron Chia was clearly perplexed by a controversial call made by the service judge, who claimed that he produced a 'spin serve' when they were leading 19-15 towards the end of the men's doubles second set.

Asked how they managed to not let the decision distract their focus, Aaron said having quite a comfortable lead helped keep their cool to claim Malaysia's maiden point with a 17-21, 21-17, 21-16 victory in the second match of the day.

'Spin serve' was temporarily banned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), which involved players spinning the shuttle before launching it and proved to be tough to return or completely unplayable.

In the meantime, Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, who formed a partnership with Goh Sze Fei and secured Malaysia's second point, hoped that they can carry on the winning rhythm against Rasmus Kjaer-Frederik Sogaard 23-21, 22-20, into the quarter-finals.

World No. 233 Justin Hoh, who put up a commendable display after he pushed hard Rasmus Gemke, ranked 26th, before going down fighting 13-21, 21-19, 13-21, in the decider said he learnt a lot to compete against a higher-ranked player today.

The 20-year-old also admitted he could not match Gemke's speed in the third set and paved the way for Denmark to top Group D after a 3-2 win.

Malaysia, who had already secured the last eight spot, kicked off the Thomas Cup 2024 in style with a massive 5-0 win against Hong Kong last Saturday and kept the momentum going by whipping minnows Algeria 5-0, last Monday

Denmark, on the other hand, opened their group campaign with similar dominance, defeating Algeria last Saturday and Hong Kong last Monday with an identical scoreline.

Thomas Cup 2024 runs until May 5.– Bernama

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