Kuala Lumpur: Coaching Director for the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Wong Choong Hann, was hoping Lee Zii Jia to pick up where he left off last season after food poisoning forced him to withdraw from the 2019 Chinese Open and 2019 Hong Kong Open before deciding not to participate in the Korean Open thus ending his chance of qualifying for the 2019 BWF World Tour Finals.
Wong told Malaysian media that although Lee is expected to face an uphill battle at the two BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournaments, the Yonex Thailand Open (Jan 12 to Jan 17, 2021), and the Toyota Thailand Open (Jan 19 to Jan 24, 2021), which will be the last two tournaments to collect points to qualify for the 2020 HSBC BWF World Tour Finals (Jan 27 to Jan 31, 2021), where all three tournaments will be held in Bangkok.
“All players have equal opportunities. So, it is possible for Zii Jia to qualify because he can make it happen,” said Wong.
“In a tournament, any player can be defeated and even the top player can be eliminated early. I believe if Zii Jia is fully prepared, he can face anyone, he does not need to be intimidated,” added Wong.
“He may have difficulty playing against Kento Momota, but he’s not alone. Everyone will have problems playing against Kento Momota. Besides Momota, I would say Zii Jia is 50-50 facing other top players,” explained Wong.
Only the top eight players of the BWF World Tour Finals rankings are eligible to compete in the prestigious tournament that offered overall cash prizes of US $ 1.5 million.
Lee was previously ranked No. 5 at the BWF World Tour Finals rankings, but because he didn’t participate at the Denmark Open last month, his ranking has slipped to No. 10.