Lee Zii Jia’s stunning backhand smash against world No. 1 Kento Momota has garnered 9.9mil views, thrilling badminton fans but the Malaysian would rather have a win over the Japanese than being a star in the viral video.
Zii Jia’s superb action in the quarter-finals of the Korean Open in October has been named as the third most watched highlights shared on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Facebook page in the 2019 season.
Zii Jia is honoured that his superb shot that was inspired by Indonesian legend Taufik Hidayat has made the top three list but the 21-year-old SEA Games champion is not getting carried away.
Instead, he said he would only gloat when he fulfills his New Year wish in 2020 – that is to end his losing streak against Momota.
“It’s unbelievable. I didn’t expect this shot to have attracted nearly 10mil views!” said the world No. 14 Zii Jia.
“But it could have been more meaningful if I had won the match. I would rather people remember me for beating Momota for the first time.”
Zii Jia went down 15-21,19-21 to Momota in that match, his third straight defeat to the reigning world champion after his previous losses at the World Championships and Sudirman Cup.
He faced Momota again in the second round of the Fuzhou China Open in November, but had to concede the match midway in the second game after being downed with severe food poisoning.
“Still, I want to thank all the badminton fans for their support. I will take it as a motivation to get even better next season.”
Zii Jia is currently preparing for the World Tour’s season opening Malaysian Masters, which gets underway at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil next Tuesday.
He faces a tough first round encounter against third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark.
If all goes well, the Malaysian will take on top seed Momota in the semi-finals.
Besides Zii Jia, it was also a proud moment for mixed doubles ace Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.
They also stole the limelight as their 115-shot marathon rally against Thailand’s Dechapol Puava-ranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai during the World Tour Finals in Guangzhou earlier this month was the fifth most viewed (4 million).
MOST VIEWED BADMINTON HIGHLIGHTS
1. Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota of Japan’s clever front court play to end a long rally against Lee So-heeShin Sheung-chan of South Korea at the China Open (10.7m).
2. Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping of China prevailing in a stunning rally against Dechapol PuavaranukrohSapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand at the World Championships in Basel (10.2m).
3. Lee Zii Jia’s deadly backhand against Kento Momota at the Korean Open (9.9m).
4. Thai star Ratchanok Intanon’s brilliant net play against Chen Yufei of China at the Thailand Open (5.5m).
5. Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying’s 115-shot marathon rally against Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai at World Tour Finals in Guangzhou (4m).