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Zii Jia aims to be world number one in two years

Putrajaya – All England champion Lee Zii Jia has given himself two years to become the world number one, after breaking into the top eight recently.

The 23-year-old shuttler said the lack of consistency was his main weakness in previous tournaments and he had been working with his coaches to rectify this.

“Between one or two years I will try to solve this weakness and stabilise my performances. Probably in a year or two, I hope to be the world number one,” he told reporters after a brief meeting with Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican at Menara KBS here yesterday.

Swiss Open women’s doubles champions Pearly Tan-M Thinaah, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria and National Sports Council director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail were present at the meeting.

Commenting on the Olympics, Zii Jia said like other players he wanted to aim for gold but many factors had to be considered, especially the pressure at the world’s biggest multi-sports event.

“I will take the Tokyo Olympics in July as an experience and give my best this time,” he added.

On the new scoring format proposed for implementation after the Tokyo Olympics, Zii Jia said it seemed to suit attacking players like him.

“I feel I am quite fit for the 11-point scoring system because I use attacking strategies in my game often. The changes in the scoring system mean I will have to work on different training strategies. We have to adapt to the new system as soon as possible,” he said.

It was reported that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) would conduct a vote on the proposed change of scoring system from the 21×3 (best of three games of 21 points each) to 11×5 in next month’s annual general meeting.

Meanwhile, Reezal Merican said he and 264 athletes and officials would receive their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the start of Ramadan next week.

The 264 athletes and officials, placed under phase one of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, comprise those who have qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and others still seeking qualification. — Bernama

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