It’s time for current shuttlers to create their own history at Thomas Cup, says Norza

PETALING JAYA: It’s time for the Malaysian team bound for the Thomas Cup Finals from April 27-May 5 in Chengdu to create their own history.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria has called on the shuttlers, led by the likes of singles ace Lee Zii Jia and doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, to end the country’s long wait to lift the prestigious trophy.

Malaysia last won the title in 1992 with the likes of the legendary Sidek brothers Datuk Rashid, Razif and Jalani,and Foo Kok Keong in the team.

Malaysian fans may still reminisce about the famous victory but Norza wants the current team to create their own legacy by bringing back the title.

He also wants fans to unite and support the team.

“It’s time for us to stop living in the past and for our players to create new history for the country,” said Norza after the flag handover ceremony at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara yesterday.

“We can’t afford to keep living in the past and keep looking back on past glories.

“Let’s come together and root for the team. We need to give them our full support.

“Let’s not question Zii Jia’s patriotism anymore. All the players are Malaysians and playing for the country and they want to prove themselves.

“They need to go all out to fight for the pride of the country and for our status as a badminton powerhouse,” added Norza, who also believes that Malaysia still have a strong team despite missing the country’s No. 2 and world No. 18 Ng Tze Yong through injury.

“Tze Yong is unlucky to miss out due to injury but we still have a strong team,” said Norza.

“Aaron-Wooi Yik have created history before by winning the World Championships for the first time for Malaysia in 2022 and I think they want to do it again,” said Norza.

“Zii Jia and (Leong) Jun Hao are also eager to do well. The latter won the Asian Junior Championships in 2017 and it’s time for him to step up and deliver.

“He has more responsibility now that Tze Yong is injured. Doubles pair (Goh) Sze Fei and (Nur) Izzuddin proved that they can beat any pair in the Asian Championships.

“Overall, besides youngster Justin Hoh, we have players who are experienced,” added Norza.

Norza also said this was the last chance for him to oversee the team to win the Thomas Cup as he will step down as president after the Paris Olympics.

“This is my last chance to see the players win the Thomas Cup as president of BAM,” said Norza.

“It’s time for me to step aside after the Olympics and let someone else take over.”

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