Zulfadli Zulkiffli can be a world champion if he joins the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) family and not try to go it on his own, said national badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei.
Chong Wei said Zulfadli should emulate Kento Momonta of Japan who at the age of 20 was already in the world’s top 10.
“Zulfadli is just 22 years old, he is still young and has a long way to go. He cannot rest on his past laurels having won the world junior title four years ago. That is past success…he must be thinking forward.
“The call by the Youth and Sports Minister (Khairy Jamaluddin) for him to return to the BAM fold is timely,” he told reporters after arriving from Jakarta at the KL International Airport here Tuesday.
However, he said the final decision lay with Zulfadli as to how the latter wanted to approach his badminton career.
“Many are saying that after me it would be Zulfadli. It is all entirely up to him…if he wants to train by himself, it will be difficult for him to make much headway.
“By joining BAM, he can gain systematic and structured training which can take him far,” said Chong Wei.
At the just concluded World Championships in Jakarta. Zulfadli succeeded in making it to the third round whereas Chong Wei made it to the final but bowed out to Chen Long of China in 14-21, 17-21.
Chong Wei, a former World Number One before serving an eight-month suspension for a doping offence, now has to claw his way back to be among the top 16 in order to qualify for the Rio Olympics next year. – BERNAMA