Lee Chong Wei was encouraged by the growth of Lee Zii Jia and Ng Tze Yong, despite both shuttlers having their Asian Games campaign end prematurely in the quarter-finals.
“Zii Jia has improved, his style of play has changed. He is playing more patiently and is not completely relying on his attacking prowess. He is engaging in multi-shot confrontations, which is beneficial for him.
“For Tze Yong, I have spoken to coaches Rexy Mainaky and Hendrawan to explore ways to enhance his game. He has shown improvement in terms of strategy, but he needs to work on his lower body strength. His footwork needs to be more robust.
“This was evident against [Kodai] Naraoka. After the first game, Tze Yong struggled to keep up with his opponent’s speed. He is aware of this. The players do not have much time as they leave to Finland next to compete,” Lee told New Straits Times.
Chong Wei had arrived in Hangzhou, China on Thursday to witness Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik compete in the men's doubles semi-finals, which they lost in straight games to Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty.
At the Asian Games, Zii Jia went down in three pulsating games against H.S.Prannoy and can consider himself unfortunate not to win having held two match points in the decider.
Shortly after, Tze Yong was outfoxed by Naraoka in straight games.
Both shuttlers’ defeat meant Chong Wei remains the last Malaysian men’s singles shuttler to win a medal at the Asian Games, having delivered bronze at the 2014 edition.
Despite their loss on Friday, Chia-Soh managed to earn the contingent a bronze medal in this edition, marking a slight improvement from the 2018 Games which saw Malaysia return home empty-handed.
For Zii Jia and Ng, the gruelling schedule continues at the Arctic Open in Vantaa, Finland, which begins on Tuesday.
Both shuttlers have a first-round bye in the Super 500 event.