Rexy: Zii Jia’s decision to train on his own is understandable

PETALING JAYA: Independent men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia’s (pic) decision not to join centralised training with the national team for the Thomas Cup Finals from April 27-May 5 in Chengdu is not ideal for the team’s preparations but national coaching director Rexy Mainaky is staying positive.

Team LZJ released a statement yesterday confirming that the world No. 11 will train individually for the team meet under coach Wong Tat Meng before joining the team and travelling to Chengdu on April 24.

While Rexy ideally wants all the players in the team training together longer, he accepts that Zii Jia has made arrangements earlier to follow Tat Meng’s training programme to prepare himself not just for the Thomas Cup but also for the Paris Olympics in July.

“I had a discussion with Tat Meng and Zii Jia’s manager and sister (Lee) Zii Yii during the Asia Team Championships in February regarding the training arrangement before the Thomas Cup,” said Rexy after overseeing a training session at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara yesterday.

“We already agreed that Zii Jia will be training on his own.

“This time the Thomas Cup is being held in the same year as the Olympics, so we have to understand that he needs to prepare for the latter as well.

“He is committed to play in the tournament but he won’t join centralised training. I don’t want to dwell on this and it’s best for us to keep a positive mindset.

“We need to make the most of the time we have to prepare as we only have about a week left before we fly to Chengdu on April 24,” added Rexy.

The other singles players in the team are Ng Tze Yong, Leong Jun Hao, Cheam June Wei and Justin Hoh while the doubles players are Aaron Chia, Soh Wooi Yik, Goh Sze Fei, Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and Mohd Haikal Nazri.

Aaron, Wooi Yik and Sze Fei will join the rest of the team in training today after competing in the Asian Championships, which ended on Sunday.

Izzuddin has been given one more day off after missing the Hari Raya celebrations with his family last week and will resume training tomorrow.

Malaysia will open their campaign against Hong Kong in Group D before playing Algeria and Denmark in the other group matches.

Only the top two teams will make the cut for the quarter-finals.

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