Kuala Lumpur: Even though he only played in three tournaments so far this year, according to the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released on Thursday, the 20-year-old Lee Zii Jia is now the top men’s singles player from Malaysia.
He moved up seven spots to rank World No. 28, overtaking Daren Liew who was ranked World No 29, and Lee Chong Wei at World No. 31th.
The improvement was due to his recent strong performances where he managed to reach the quarter-final at three consecutive tournaments, including the Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia Masters.
However, the men’s singles head coach at Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) – Misbun Sidek remained cautious about the sudden surge in ranking by Lee.
“What worries me is that young players are very easy to be satisfied. Therefore, I have to make sure that he continues to have the hunger and desire to succeed,” said Sidek.
“To be frank, Zii Jia has been following advice and working very hard under my guidance. So far, he’s always eager to learn and challenge himself,” added Sidek.
Meanwhile, Lee Zii Jia also expressed his appreciation to Sidek for the confidence that Sidek has shown in him.
“Since Datuk Misbun joined BAM, I am getting better and my playing style is getting more mature,” said Lee.
“I am not satisfied yet, and I have to keep pushing. There’s a lot, lot, lot more to do,” added Lee.
Lee will play his next tournament at German Open that will be held from February 26 to March 3.