Former national men’s singles shuttler Wong Choong Hann has called on newly crowned Taiwan Open champion Lee Zii Jia to continue to learn as much as he possibly can to hone his playing skills so that he may become a world champion in the future. (NSTP/FATHIL ASRI)

KUALA LUMPUR: Former national men’s singles shuttler Wong Choong Hann has called on newly crowned Taiwan Open champion Lee Zii Jia to continue to learn as much as he possibly can to hone his playing skills so that he may become a world champion in the future.

According to Chong Hann, in terms of spirit, confidence, determination and the resilience to go the distance, Zii Jia already possesses such traits and attributes though in order to be an even better shuttler he still has much to learn.

"I am happy to see him achieve success such as coming out tops in Taiwan recently. Actually I feel that just about any national shuttler can become a champion and I will be very happy for them,” said Choong Hann when met after the introduction ceremony for Ampang Jaya Badminton Club’s players here earlier today (Thursday).

Choong Hann stressed that even though Zii Jia still has a lot to learn, the young and upcoming shuttler should also show development and progress in his game apart from remaining humble at the same time.

"He should continue to learn as much as he possibly can because from what I see he already has the hunger and character to go after victories.

"In the recent Taiwan Open it was clearly evident that he was determined and worked very hard to be victorious. During the semi-final against Taiwanese Chou Tien Chen, he did struggle for the win but at the same time he refused to give up and continued to fight hard,” Choong Hann pointed out.

Choong Han who was Taiwan Open men’s singles champion back in 2003, is hoping that Zii Jia will continue to build his self-confidence and display determination to fight and press on during games especially when going up against the world’s best.

"If he is able to pick up a few more good traits and new skills to bolster his all-round game, then he can be even more flexible when it comes to formulating the best strategies to take on various different opponents. What’s most important though is that he gets mature and grows into a top, formidable player,” said Chong Hann.

Zii Jia emerged as Taiwan Open champion last Sunday when he fought hard to overcome Japanese Riichi Takeshita, 21-17, 16-21, 21-11, coincidentally on the same day that Chong Wei returned to Malaysia after spending more than two months in Taiwan as well undergoing treatment for early stage nose cancer.

Two other Malaysian players who have won the Taiwan Open apart from Zii Jia and Choong Hann are Chong Wei (2004) and Misbun Sidek (1987).

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