Not to put unnecessary pressure on Lee Zii Jia

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will not put unnecessary pressure on Lee Zii Jia to deliver gold at the Tokyo Olympics. The 23-year-old has fired up the expectations of fans last month by unexpectedly winning the All England men’s singles title. However, BAM president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria yesterday stressed that their plan has always been for Zii Jia to deliver at the 2024 Olympics. So, Norza is playing down the talk of Malaysia gunning for gold at the Tokyo Olympics. BAM launched their “Wall of Champions” at the…

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Wong Choong Hann brought everyone down to earth

BA of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann was quick to bring everyone down to earth, despite the national players’ recent success in Europe. According to Choong Hann, everyone needs to continue working hard and not be satisfied with one or two achievements. Earlier this month, Lee Zii Jia became the talk of the town when the 23-year-old captured the All England men’s singles title. “Honestly, I would want to see them all beef up their fitness level after what I saw in Europe. This includes the Orleans Masters.…

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Malaysian Ladies' singles needs the push

If Indra Wijaya can do it with Lee Zii Jia, he can surely do the same to help the women’s singles players. However, the Indonesian-born coach will need some time with the current batch of shuttles. Among the players under his charge are reigning Sea Games champion S. Kisona, two-time world junior champion Goh Jin Wei, Lee Ying Ying and Eoon Qi Xuan Kisona was knocked out in the first round of the All England earlier this month. As a result, the BA of Malaysia (BAM) withdrew her from the…

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Ashleigh Barty's first overseas appearance since the pandemic

MIAMI: World number one Ashleigh Barty is preparing to spend the rest of the season on the road as she prepares to defend her Miami Open title this week in her first overseas appearance since the pandemic. The 24-year-old from Queensland elected not to travel outside Australia after the WTA Tour resumed last year, skipping both the US Open and the rescheduled French Open at Roland Garros in September. The Aussie got a taste of international travel in the age of coronavirus when her journey to the United States ended…

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A fitting replacement for former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei

LEE Zii Jia’s momentous All England triumph is certainly a joyous occasion for Malaysia in the pandemic-era. It also offers hope that Malaysian badminton has finally found a fitting replacement for former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei. Zii Jia showed composure and great mental strength to beat World No 1 Kento Momota and World No 2 Viktor Axelsen en route to the men’s singles crown. The 23-year-old’s 30-29, 20-22, 21-9 win over Axelsen shows that he can maintain his nerves in high-pressure. Zii Jia certainly has the skill and…

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British pair ken and Neal Skupski win the Mexican Open

British pair Ken and Neal Skupski beat Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos to win the Mexican Open doubles title. The brothers converted both break points they created to seal a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 victory over the top seeds. It is their third title together and first since 2019, having briefly split before reuniting this season. In the singles final, second seed Alexander Zverev beat top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to win his 14th ATP Tour title Zverev struggled early on, finding himself 4-1 down and having to save…

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Earthquake fails to stop Alexander Zverev

An earthquake failed to stop Alexander Zverev from beating fellow German Dominik Koepfer to reach the Mexican Open final in Acapulco. Koepfer was serving in the second set when the 5.7-magnitude quake struck. “The lights started shaking and the crowd felt it more than we did,” said world number seven Zverev, who faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. The tremors hit shortly after British duo Ken and Neal Skupski had beaten compatriot Joe Salisbury and his partner Rajeev Ram to reach the doubles final. Ken Skupski said the tremor “lasted…

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Three legends to skip ATP Miami Open

MIAMI: World number one Novak Djokovic said Friday he won’t be playing at the ATP Miami Open, joining fellow Grand Slam legends Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in skipping next week’s event. The current records put him third on the all-time men’s list behind the 20 Slam titles owned by Swiss star Federer and Spaniard Nadal, who will try to defend his French Open title in the next Slam showdown on the red clay of Roland Garros. “Dear fans, I’m very sorry to announce that this year I won’t travel…

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The return of the ” Samurai “

BA of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann has urged the national shuttlers to be ready for the tough challenge. World No 1 Kento Momota and his Japanese counterparts will return to action for the first time this year at the world’s oldest tournament. “Although the All England is not an Olympic qualifying event, it will be different from the previous tournaments this year. “It will only get tougher from here when the rest of the world returns to competitive action,” said Choong Hann. For Momota, it will be…

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A test of mind and heart for Lee Zii Jia.

Based on sports science alone, it will be too much to expect a miracle from the 23-year-old national men’s singles. But if Zii Jia defies the odds like he did last year when he reached the All England semi-finals before losing narrowly to Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, it could boost his dented spirit. “We have sports science to calculate how fast a player can recover, and in Zii Jia’s case, he will need some time. “You can’t just achieve something overnight by simply thinking of it,” he added Zii Jia has…

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