Lee Zii Jia admitted he was half-hearted about making the trip to Denmark should the Thomas & Uber Cup have gone ahead as scheduled, after speaking to Danish ace Viktor Axelsen regularly on the COVID-19 developments over there.
The Scandivian country saw a spike in new cases in the last week, with September 16 recording the highest number of new cases in months (369).
In light with that situation, compounded by the withdrawal of 13-time champions Indonesia and several other countries, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) made the decision to postpone the event on Tuesday.
But Lee, who lost to Axelsen in the semi-finals of the All-England Championships in March, was already reluctant to make the trip before the announcement was made.
“Of course we were preparing for the Thomas Cup, but there was also fear to travel there. I speak with Axelsen often and he told me the situation there was dangerous, with around 300 new cases daily.
“I still continued training to prepare, but focusing was difficult as we have never been in a situation like this before,” he said after winning his President’s Cup against Cheam June Wei 22-20, 21-18.
Meanwhile, the world number 10 was far from pleased with his win, even going as far to say he was “feeling down” following his 40-minute victory.
“I am not satisfied with my performance. I felt I played badly. I lost focus because there wasn't a target to play for, unlike when there were world tour events. I'm feeling down to be honest,” added Lee, who felt warm-up tournaments like this were nothing like the World Tour affairs.
“But we still need to have some sort of tournament feeling, so this kind of competition should definitely continue. For now, we will still continue training as usual.”
Lee set the tone for his Team A to beat Team B in the simulation event originally meant for the Thomas Cup, with Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, Ng Tze Yong and Shaqeem Eiman contributing the rest of the points.
Fri Sep 18 2020
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