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PETALING JAYA: With the Tokyo Olympics looming in two months’ time, there is no time to lose as world No. 8 Lee Zii Jia enters the final stretch of his preparations.

And head coach Hendrawan is leaving no stones unturned as he sought the help of veteran Liew Daren (pic) to provide the All-England champion quality sparrings.

Zii Jia is in need of high intensity matches but most of the second echelon singles shuttlers are currently not available.

Cheam June Wei, Ng Tze Yong and Leong Jun Hao are not expected to return to training until the second week of June as they undergoing a 14-day quarantine after their Spain Masters assignment last week.

Daren said will be based at the Academy Badminton Malay-sia (ABM) tentatively until June 7.

“Zii Jia did ask me if I would be okay to come in (to ABM) and train with him, ” said Daren, the second highest-ranked Malay-sian at No. 34.

“A couple days later, I got invited by Hendrawan and I accepted it.

“It was quite in a hurry. I got his call on Monday morning and I had to check in the ABM by afternoon itself.

“However, the offer came quite timely as I could not train outside at the moment, so I have no qualms about being quarantined at the ABM.”

It is not the first time Daren had joint training with the national team.

Last year, Daren and Soong Joo Ven were among the independent shuttlers invited by the Badminton Association of Malaysia in preparations for the Thomas Cup Finals which was eventually postponed due to Covid-19.

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Liew Daren , badminton , Hendrawan , Lee Zii Jia


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