Despite savouring a monumental achievement of winning the Badminton Asia Championships (BAC) on Sunday, Lee Zii Jia is aware to put that success in the background as he gets ready for the Thomas Cup this Sunday.

While most Malaysians are enjoying the week-long Hari Raya celebrations, the national shuttlers are facing a big preparation week as they jet off to Bangkok, Thailand, for the Thomas and Uber Cup affair.

Lee should lead the country’s challenge at the Thomas Cup as the first men’s singles, where he is slated to take on Japan’s Kento Momota, among others, in the group stage.

His biggest motivation would come from the gold medal won in Manila on Sunday at the expense of Jonatan Christie, the same stage where he also won gold at the SEA Games final three years ago.

“Winning the BAC means a lot to me, especially as a professional. I hope this is a first of many in my professional career, and I hope to get some rest before I head to Bangkok for the Thomas Cup and Thailand Open,” he said.

The BAC came as Lee’s second major trophy after the All-England success he won last year.

A crucial factor to his achievement is also thanks to the world number six, who just overtook Chen Long on the world rankings, having a dedicated team focused solely on making him the best in the world.

Indra Wijaya (head coach), Liew Daren (assistant coach), Sandra Fielder (physiotherapist), Lim Joe Heang (physical trainer) and Lee Zii Yii (manager) were all with him in Manila, and would continue to follow the shuttler in his badminton travels.

Lee’s decision to turn professional this year so far worked out well for him, as he started the year by helping the country win the Asia Team Championships, and made it to two semi-finals at the German Open and All-England before Manila.

In winning the BAC, Lee ended Malaysia's six-year wait after Lee Chong Wei last won it in 2016.

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