Zii Jia will rise up again – Jalani

KUALA LUMPUR – National badminton legend Datuk Seri Jalani Sidek believes national professional men’s singles champion Lee Zii Jia (picture) will bounce back from his current decline in performance.

Jalani said only time will tell if Zii Jia will ‘roar’ again on the court considering that the 17th ranked player in the world has a good style of play.

He said the former All England 2021 champion’s decision to hire Wong Tat Meng as his coach in May, after parting ways with his former coach Indra Wijaya from Indonesia last November, was part of the process to return to the peak of success.

“This is part of the process because if he (Zii Jia) wants to be champion, he knows what he wants, give him time,” he said when met recently.

Zii Jia once described Tat Meng as a local coach who has the necessary characteristics to help him realise his dream of chasing Olympic gold for the country at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Tat Meng was one of the key figures who led the South Korean women’s squad to the 2022 Uber Cup final at the Impact Arena in Bangkok last year.

South Korea beat defending champions China 3-2, to lift the Uber Cup for the second time in their history after winning it in 2010.

Zii Jia’s performance was seen going down hill when he was eliminated in the first round for the fourth consecutive time including losing to the defending champion from Japan, Kenta Nishimoto, 22-20,17-21, 19-21 at the 2023 Japan Open last week.

Jailani, who was saddened by the fate of his brother Datuk Misbun Sidek whose contract was terminated as the Director of Youth Singles Coaching at  Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) recently, said that development takes quite a long time before being able to produce successful players.

Jalani said that although the current junior squad has a lot of players, he found that their quality of play was still lacking.

“Quantity is high but quality is low…if we have five players, but only one is the best, help that player as best as possible to win. So, development is important because it takes a long time,” he said. – BERNAMA