The following article is submitted to the Editorial of Malaysia Gazette by reader, Yeap Ming Liong.
Congratulations are in order for national shuttler Lee Zii Jia, who dominated the media headlines, after he clinched the gold in the men’s singles final of the All England in Birmingham.
His win against world no.2 Viktor Axelsen proved he is a force to be reckoned with. His win brought back memories of an interview I conducted as a young sports journalist with then men’s singles head coach Datuk Misbun Sidek.
We were covering the preparations of former world no.1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei for an upcoming major tournament when a young lad walked crossed behind the rolling cameras. That was when I first laid eyes on a young Zi Jia in peson, who unknowing to me would become King of the All England one day.
I recall Datuk Misbun informing me that Zi Jia was someone I need to take note of as the youngster was displaying the skills and the dedication needed to become the next big star in Malaysian badminton.
I thought nothing much of Datuk Misbun’s words at the time, but I must say Zii Jia’s triumph in the All England has proved all his doubters wrong. He truly is a giant slayer in his own right.
One would argue that a star is born with Zii JIa’s triumph. However, I would like to believe that this star was long ready to take Malaysian badminton to greater heights. I hope his win at the All England will be the start of many wins for Malaysia.
The world no.10’s exploits at the All England might provide extra pressure for him. Some may see Lee Zii Jia as the new Lee Chong Wei, but I ask everyone not to draw comparisons between the two. Let the young Lee develop in his own right for I am sure he will bring more success and glory to our beloved nation.
One thing is for sure his win at the All England is a breath of fresh air in the midst of Malaysia’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. I must say his win is a catalyst of unity, togetherness and patriotism. Values that serve as foundations of nation building and progress.
Yeap Ming Liong
Subang Jaya, Selangor