Aaron inspired by Chong Wei’s way

After skippering Malaysia to a historic triumph at the Badminton Asia Team Championships two months ago, Aaron Chia vowed to lead the national team to glory at the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok from May 8-15.

National doubles player Aaron, has again been appointed captain at the expense of world No 7 Lee Zii Jia, who is no longer playing under the BA of Malaysia (BAM) banner.

In retrospect, Zii Jia was the skipper of the Malaysian team at the Thomas Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark, last year.

Aaron, 25, knows he has a challenging task in hand as Thomas Cup Finals, unlike the Asian Championships, is a competition of different magnitude altogether.

But the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist is unfazed by the daunting duty expected of him, and is looking to draw inspiration from the legendary Lee Chong Wei, whom he played alongside with during his Thomas Cup debut in Bangkok four years ago.

Aaron stressed that the best way to fire up the team is put up a winning performance on court, just like how Chong Wei did.

“Datuk (Chong Wei) is a great captain and leader, I look up to him a lot,” said Aaron yesterday.

“His leadership style is very simple – he let his action and performance on court do the talking. He’s always certain of winning and that itself is all it takes to spur all of us.

“It’s the aura he brings into the team. It’s not just during battle, even off court, you feel motivated all the time in his presence.

“I think that’s what a team captain should be and I’m looking to emulate him.”

Chong Wei certainly left a big void to fill for his predecessors considering that he had always assured Malaysia of a winning start in almost every Thomas Cup match.

Since the 2006 edition, Chong Wei had accumulated a remarkalde record. Playing as first singles, he contributed 24 points out of a possible 27 until the 2018 Finals where he spearheaded Malaysia to the last eight.

Chong Wei’s individual brilliance, however, was not enough to help Malaysia reclaim the prestigious Thomas Cup, which they last won in Kuala Lumpur in 1992.

The closest Malaysia came to glory was in the New Delhi edition in 2014 where the national team were beaten 3-2 by Japan in the final.

Perhaps, Aaron could strike a beginner’s luck in his very first attempt as Malaysia’s captain for the Thomas Cup Finals?

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