Zii Jia needs a break to stay focused, says Chong Wei

National player Lee Zii Jia playing against on the second-day of the Malaysian Open tournament at the Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil, April 3, 2019. He lost 21-17, 19-21, 21-15. — Bernama pic
National player Lee Zii Jia playing against on the second-day of the Malaysian Open tournament at the Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil, April 3, 2019. He lost 21-17, 19-21, 21-15. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Malaysia’s promising shuttler Lee Zii Jia should have enough rest to stay focused in the game, national badminton legend Datuk Lee Chong Wei said today.

Chong Wei believes Zii Jia may be mentally exhausted, which could be disrupting his focus as a result of playing in back to back tournaments starting early this year.

“The struggle Zii Jia’s facing is normal and at the same age, I struggled as well. From January until now, he has not stopped competing. He is also a human being, his body can survive but mentally, he is exhausted. Zii Jia needs to rest and review his performance.

“When mentally exhausted, you can’t think and you can’t focus. I used to face this problem too. I couldn’t perform well in every tournament,” said Chong Wei, who has spoken to national men’s singles coach Hendrawan to assist Zii Jia.

Zii Jia failed to defend the Taiwan Open title recently after losing in the second round to Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito.

The 21-year-old shuttler’s next assignment would be the China Open in Jiangsu, China from Sept 17 to 22.

At the same time, Chong Wei hopes that Zii Jia will hit his peak performance at the age of 25, like himself.

“I hope that at the 2020 Olympics, Zii Jia will be able to win a medal but if he loses focus, maybe in 2024. His game would have matured by then. He has to help himself and at the same time, I will share my Olympic Games experiences with him,” he said.

Chong Wei was the Olympic Games silver medallist in Beijing in 2008, London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016). — Bernama

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