Syabas Lee Zii Jia, but please stay grounded

In the current gloom and doom, where headlines scream of despairing news on politics, religion and Covid-19, it is uplifting to see Lee Zii Jia capture the All-England Championship title by upstaging Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen.

Heartiest congratulations to our newly crowned champion.

It has been a long four-year wait for this. Datuk Lee Chong Wei was the last Malaysian winner – in 2017.

Zii Jia is certainly a worthy successor to Chong Wei.

With his confidence back, this victory will surely propel “Junior Lee” to greater heights.

Zii Jia’s youth was definitely an advantage.

This was obvious in the rubber game when he smashed his way to a praiseworthy 21-9 victory after a gruelling 74-minute match.

In the quarterfinals, he had beaten World No 1 Kento Momota.

It is only right that Zii Jia basks in his new-found glory, hard-earned to say the least.

Yet, it is not too early to remind himself to remain grounded and not be intoxicated by his overnight fame.

He can learn much from his predecessor Chong Wei of the need for continued rigorous training in preparation for the next Thomas Cup.

Also, at this youthful age of 22, can Zii Jia handle the fame and glamour he will be getting – not forgetting the enormous financial rewards, including sponsorships from the corporate sector?

He will no doubt be a celebrity but will this success get into his head?

Hopefully, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) can help Zii Jia handle this sudden fame.

While we may momentarily bask in glory, there is still a lot of work to be done if we want to regain our status as a world power in badminton by winning the next Thomas Cup.

Thank you to RTM for bringing a nail-gripping suspenseful clash ‘live’ into our living rooms.

This victory will indeed send positive reverberations to badminton at school, district, club and state levels and more youngsters will have a hero to emulate.

For now, let’s saviour the victory. The nation is indeed very proud of you, Zii Jia. Well done and syabas!

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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