Lee Zii Jia: I just want to be myself

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Lee Zii Jia is Malaysia's most promising junior player. (photo: ETToday)
Lee Zii Jia is Malaysia's most promising junior player. (photo: ETToday)

Kuala Lumpur: After winning the Chinese Taipei Open on Sunday, the World No. 60 Lee Zii Jia has been seen as potential successor to Malaysian badminton legend Lee Chong Wei.

Speaking to Taiwanese media after the Chinese Taipei triumph, the Malaysian rising star was delighted with his first Super 300 title.

“First of all, this is my first Super 300 title and the best victory of my career so far,” said Lee.

“I am really excited, but I must remain humble and continue to train hard and play better.”

“I hope I can break into World’s top 30 by end of this year, because only World’s top 32 are eligible to compete at Super 750 and Super 1000.”

When asked about how he could establish himself as the long-term successor to Lee Chong Wei, the 20-year-old said:

“It’s understandable that Malaysians are hoping I can be Chong Wei’s successor, however, I am not going to think too much, I am still young, and I just want to be myself,” said Lee, modestly.

Sunday’s victory had made Lee Zii Jia the fourth Malaysian player to ever win the Chinese Taipei Open, after Lee Chong Wei (2004), Misbun Sidek (1987) and Wong Choong Hann (2003). He also wished Lee Chong Wei a quick recovery and good health, while expressed his sympathy for the tragic death of this former teammate and childhood friend Tan Chee Tean who passed away in a car accident in South of Brno, Czech Republic on Sept 28.

“There has been a lot of unpleasant things happening in Malaysian badminton recently. I am really concerned about Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s condition, hope he can recover quickly. I am also extremely saddened to know that Chee Tean has passed on. Both of us are from Kedah, and used to train together when we were kids.”

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