After a year under Tat Meng, Zii Jia couldn’t be feeling better ahead of Games

PETALING JAYA: National No. 1 Lee Zii Jia (pic) is convinced he has the best coaching support at the moment to guide him to Olympic glory in Paris.

This week marked exactly one year Wong Tat Meng was appointed as the coaching director of Team Lee Zii Jia (Team LZJ) and the former national coach has clearly had a positive impact on the professional singles player’s bid to stand on the Olympic podium in July.

Apart from Malaysia, Tat Meng has already coached in Indonesia, Scotland, South Korea and Hong Kong before joining Team LZJ.

Since joining the team in May last year, Tat Meng managed to lead Zii Jia to four podium successes.

Zii Jia claimed the Arctic Open last year and triumphed at the Thailand Open two weeks ago.

In addition, the 26-year-old also finished runner-up twice at the Denmark Open last year and the Malaysian Masters on Sunday.

“I have said before when I appointed Tat Meng as a coach that he is an experienced person who has coached both domestically and abroad. Because of that, he has experienced many different badminton cultures and I want to leverage on this,” said Zii Jia, currently ranked 10th in the world

“I think the experience and insight that he has will help me achieve my goal at the Olympics.

“He is the best person to support me. He is giving his all to help me achieve my Olympic dream.

In the Malaysian Masters on Sunday, cramps took a toll on Zii Jia as he eventually succumbed 6-21, 22-20, 13-21 to world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

Datuk Lee Chong Wei is thus the last Malaysian to win the men’s singles title at the Malaysian Masters back in 2016.

Reaching two successive tournaments should boost Zii Jia’s confidence ahead of the Olympics but it remains uncertain if the seemingly exhausted shuttler will play in the Singapore Open starting today.

Zii Jia has a first-round match scheduled against Anthony Ginting of Indonesia tomorrow.

Zii Jia admitted he still has some areas to improve on to become the all-round player he desires.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve reached back-to-back finals, so I’m eager to assess my performance in the upcoming tournaments. I’m still refining myself to deliver peak performances,” said Zii Jia, who last secured back-to-back titles in 2022 at the Thailand Open and Asian Badminton Championships.

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