Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei wanted junior players such as Lee Zii Jia and Leong Jun Hao to have more belief in themselves to build up the ability to take on top players from around the world.
Lee, when speaking to Malaysian media, said that Malaysian players such as the 20-year-old Lee Zii Jia (186cm) and the 2017 Asian junior champion Leong Jun Hao are very talented players, but they need to believe and have faith in their potential to become great badminton players.
“Give them two to three years, if they continue to train hard and analyze the games of top players in the world, I am confident they would be successful,” said Lee after a training session on Wednesday.
“Badminton is a type of sport that needs a lot of skills and techniques. To be on top, they need to possess the technical, physical, and mental skills and techniques. I am sure they are aware of that,” added Lee.
Lee Zii Jia (World No. 45) is currently the third highest ranked Malaysian player in Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings after Lee Chong Wei (World No. 7) and Daren Liew (World No. 37). While Leong Jun Hao is ranked World No. 77.
“These young players should appreciate the opportunity given to them especially when they were able to play for the Thomas Cup at the age of 19. When I was 19, I could only watch my seniors play for Thomas Cup from the bench, but I seized that opportunity to study their skills seriously,” said Lee.
“They should observe how top players such as Viktor Axelsen and Kento Momota play and to stay on top of other opponents from Denmark, Japan, Indonesia and China.”
Lee also stressed that to be successful player, the players must possess a strong desire to excel on the court. They should set challenging goals and working aggressively to achieve those goals.