Zii Jia to lead young shuttlers in SEA Games

National player Lee Zii Jia is ranked 17th in the world. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) today announced a 20-strong member squad for the SEA Games in the Philippines in November.

Led by national No 1 men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia, the list also features 2017 SEA Games women’s singles gold medallist Goh Jin Wei alongside debutants and rising stars Lim Chong King and Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin.

BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann said they were looking at experienced players to lead the way and inspire young players.

He said the SEA Games would serve as a platform for the players to live up to the expectations and bring glory to the country.

“We want to expose these players at a younger level so they will be prepared at an earlier stage to carry the Malaysian flag and stand at the forefront of the battlefield.

“They (Chong King and Aidil) have earned their spots by showing promise in the last few tournaments that they have participated in.

“We want to fast-track their development by them gaining valuable experience at a bigger stage,” Wong said in a statement today.

The 19-year-old Chong King claimed the Hellas Open men’s singles crown in Greece by triumphing over compatriot Aidil Sholeh in the all-Malaysian final on Sunday.

BAM also have set an official target of two gold medals in the Games which would be held from Nov 30 till Dec 11.

“Winning two gold medals won’t be an easy task. But the target is reasonably challenging for both the players and coaching team,” he added.

At the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, the national badminton squad bagged one gold, five silver and two bronze medals.