The pressure of carrying the hopes of his country is weighing on 22-year-old national badminton player, Lee Zii Jia.
Lee Zii Jia who will be making his debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo admitted that it was never going to be easy for him to follow in the retired Lee Chong Wei’s footsteps as Malaysia’s top badminton player.
“Since it is my first Olympics, I am not going to put much pressure on myself.
“I will just go and try my best and gain as much experience as possible” said the world number 10.
The Covid-19 pandemic has given the best opportunity for the rising star, Lee Zii Jia to brush up his preparations before the world’s foremost sports competition, the Olympics.
“During the lockdown, I tried my best to stay positive and I am glad that our coaches prepared an online training programme via Zoom throughout the MCO.
“It gives me time and opportunity to improve myself and work on achieving my target in becoming the world number one player” said Lee Zii Jia who is determined to put up a blistering show at the Tokyo Olympics.
Earning his place in the eyes of the world, Lee Zii Jia did not take his ranking for granted as he knows that he is being surrounded by extremely talented players who are more experienced, thus he needs to stay focused to maintain his success.
“Kento Momota is absolutely my strongest contender. I love his game play and I would also love to defeat him in upcoming tournaments,” said the Kedahan.
Lee Zii Jia who was first introduced to badminton by his father at the age of 5 has never once regretted choosing badminton as his career path.
“My father is the one who encouraged me to play badminton. When I was younger, he often took me to a few academies for training.
“I started playing just for health reasons before improving and finally earning a place at the Badminton Association of Malaysia to represent my country,” added the top men’s singles shuttler.
At a relatively young age of 22, Lee Zii Jia still has plenty to improve on as he wants to rise at his own pace and not be swiftly pushed by the pressure of becoming the next Lee Chong Wei.
“Everyone has a character of their own. We need to find that one special character in ourselves. Bear in mind that to be somebody, you need to be different”
LEE ZII JIA
|Born||29 March 1998 (age 22)|
|Alor Setar, Kedah|
|World Ranking||10 (current)|
Asian Team Championships
|Manila 2020||Men’s Team||Silver|
|Alor Setar 2018||Men’s Team||Bronze|
Southeast Asian Games
|Philippines 2019||Men’s Singles||Gold|
|Philippines 2019||Men’s Team||Silver|
|Kuala Lumpur 2017||Men’s Team||Silver|
World Junior Championships
|Bilbao 2016||Mixed Team||Silver|
|Bilbao 2016||Boys’ Singles||Bronze|