2022 Thomas Cup: Decision on centralised training for Zii Jia in BAM’s hand, says national men’s singles coach Hendrawan

Lee Zii Jia who chose to become a professional player is now undergoing training by himself after leaving BAM in January. — AFP pic
Lee Zii Jia who chose to become a professional player is now undergoing training by himself after leaving BAM in January. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — The final decision to call national men’s singles champion Lee Zii Jia to undergo centralised training for the 2022 Thomas Cup is in the hand of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

National men’s singles coach Hendrawan believed BAM would be making an announcement on whether to call Zii Jia to join centralised training soon for the prestigious championship which would be held in Bangkok, Thailand from May 8-15.

“I heard it (Zii Jia being called for centralised training), nonetheless the final announcement will be made by BAM,” he told reporters during a training session at Academy Badminton Malaysia, Bukit Kiara here today.

Zii Jia who chose to become a professional player is now undergoing training by himself after leaving BAM in January.

Meanwhile, the coach from Indonesia hoped Malaysia would top Group D at the Thomas Cup and have to overcome Japan, the tournament’s second seed as the main challenger apart from England and New Zealand.

The silver medalist of 2000 Sydney Olympics said if the national squad could complete the group stage well, they would have a good chance to enter the knockout stage.

“We will focus on the best position at group stage presently,” he added.

In this regard, Hendrawan said whoever is selected to take on the national task at Thomas Cup, needs to prove his eligibility to represent the country and subsequently assist the coaching team in the selection for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25.

“I feel if selected, they should be ready, there are many options (singles players), including professional players like Liew Darren…from both BAM and professionals but they must prove their worth,” he said.

On the performance of a rising young player from China, Weng Hong Yang who easily defeated national player Ng Tze Yong in the quarter-finals of Korean Open last week, Hendrawan said they have to be careful with the world 89th player if Malaysia is to meet China in the knockout stage in the Thomas Cup.

He believed Hong Yang has the potential to be listed as the third single for the Thomas Cup team of China which has won the Thomas Cup 10 times. — Bernama