Malaysia could have a world badminton number one by 2023!
Lee Zii Jia is giving himself two years to reach the summit of the men’s world rankings, having recently broken into the top eight.
The All England champion also knows that it’s going to take plenty of hard work, which is why he’s already started on a plan with his coaches to overcome the lack of consistency that has plagued his game in recent 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 said.
Such a bold target will undoubtedly attract plenty of scrutiny moving forward, but Zii Jia assures he’s fully capable of handling the pressure.
The 23-year-old plans to do this by maintaining his focus on training, while ignoring all other distractions off the court.
For the record, Malaysia’s last world number one shuttler was Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who spent a total of 349 weeks at the summit over the course of his career.
Meanwhile, Zii Jia is staying realistic about his chances at the Tokyo Olympics despite being considered a medal prospect.
He says there are many factors that have to be considered, including the quality of opponents there.
"I will take the Tokyo Olympics in July as an experience and give my best this time."
By Nicholas Darren John