Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s World No. 8 men’s singles player, Lee Zii Jia, has slowly settled into his role to become the leader of the Malaysian badminton team after showing his determination to lead his team during the 2021 Sudirman Cup which ended last Sunday.
The Coaching Director of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Wong Choong Hann, told Malaysian media that Lee has demonstrated high levels of competitiveness, responsibility, and other high-quality athlete leadership at the mixed-team championships which took place in Vantaa, Finland, last week.
“His opponents have been studying his playing style as he is now playing at a new level. It’s not easy for him to overcome that pressure and at the same time taking responsibility for the country,” said Wong.
“Nevertheless, he is determined to prove that he is capable of shouldering this responsibility,” added Wong.
“When playing against the World No. 1 Kento Momota in the Sudirman Cup semi-finals, we could see him worked hard to regain his rhythm. Those were all pretty good leadership traits,” continued Wong.
“He set up a good example to other young players who were playing in a big tournament like this for the first time. He brought a positive attitude into the team,” said the former World No. 1 player.
After losing to Chen Long in the last 16 of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the 23-year-old Lee bounced back to lead Malaysia’s challenge in the Sudirman Cup by defeating World No. 5 from Indonesia, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting to help Malaysia advanced into the semi-finals. He also made up for his loss in the group stage by defeating World No. 1, Kento Momota of Japan in the semi-finals.
Lee will once again lead the Malaysian challenge at the Thomas Cup in Aarhus, Denmark starting this Oct 9, 2021, to Oct 17, 2021. He will have another chance to battle Japan’s World No. 1 player, Kento Momota in Aarhus as Malaysia was drawn in Group D along with Japan, England, and Canada.