Training at ABM: Only Zii Jia So far, others not there yet

KUALA LUMPUR – It seems like the country’s top men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia (picture) is the only professional player who is undergoing training at Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM), Bukit Kiara, at least for now.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) high performance director Dr Tim Jones said a number of singles players could not make it to train at ABM as it clashes with their own agenda at the moment.

“A number of singles players have opted for playing more tournaments at the beginning of 2023 so it does not fit in with their plans,” he told Bernama when contacted.

However, Jones said they had received a request from Malaysia’s fifth ranked women’s singles shuttler, Kasturi Radhakrishnan, who meets the criteria, to train there.

“We are in communication (with Kasturi), so hopefully she will come in soon,” he said.

 In the meantime, the former National Sports Institute (ISN) senior physiologist said it was great to see the current world number two Zii Jia make a surprise return to ABM last Saturday and hoped this trend will continue in the future.

“I think it’s great to see the best in the country playing together, it can only be a good thing for Malaysian badminton,” he said.

Yesterday, the media reported that Zii Jia spent two hours at ABM and was involved in matchplays with BAM players such as Leong Jun Hao, Justin Hoh and Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin.

Meanwhile, as for the doubles players, Jones said they will not start the joint-training session in ABM until after Rosman Razak takes over from Chin Eei Hui as independent pairs coach soon.

Among independent duos who could join the training sessions include the current world number eight men’s doubles pair, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi and two mixed doubles pair, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie.

Last month, BAM opened the doors for national professional shuttlers to attend weekly matchplay sessions at ABM.

BAM stated that only national professional singles shuttlers ranked in the top 50 and doubles pairs ranked in the top 30 of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) would be eligible to attend the sessions while the top five Malaysian shuttlers might also be considered. – Bernama