Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has awarded the World No. 8 men’s singles player, Lee Zii Jia an incentive of RM30,000 following his success in the 2021 All England where he defeated Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 30-29, 20-22, 21-9 in the final. That was Malaysia’s first All England title since Lee Chong Wei last won it in 2017.
Lee admitted that he was satisfied with the results he has achieved after going through various ups and downs in his career. He wanted to remain humble and was determined to achieve more success in the future.
“Of course I am proud of this success (winning the All England title). This championship really meant a lot to me and also to the people of Malaysia,” said Lee.
“I am more mature now and I know how to control stress and hopefully I can handle the pressure and stress better in the future tournaments,” added Lee.
When talking about his target for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in July, Lee refused to put too much pressure on himself, instead, he just wanted to focus on his preparations for the world’s biggest games.
“Any player who plays in the Olympics wants to win a gold medal. However, I believe the preparation is as important as the Games itself,” said Lee, who will not be playing at the Indian Open which takes place on May 16th.
The BAM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria also confirmed that BAM does not want to put unnecessary pressure on the 23-year-old Lee despite high hopes of winning gold in Japan after winning the All England competition two weeks ago.
“From the very first day, we planned to win gold at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. However, as I told Zii Jia, he had a dream of his own and he also knew what the people wanted from him,” said Zakaria.
Apart from Lee Zii Jia, Malaysia’s World No. 19 women’s doubles pair, Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan was also given an incentive of RM15,000 following their success in winning the Swiss Open in early March. They also managed to advance to the 2021 All England quarter-finals.
BAM also created a ‘Wall of Champions’ for Lee Zii Jia and Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan following their success in the recent European leg tournaments.
It’s also worth noting that all players and coaches who attended the award ceremony were wearing the sweater that has the YONEX logo on it instead of the Victor logo. As recent as March 23, when Lee Zii Jia, Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan came back from Europe, they were still wearing shirts with the Victor logo.
In March 2015, Victor signed a six-year contract with BAM worth RM60 million. Since the award ceremony was taking place on April 1st, 2021, it’s safe to speculate that the Victor sponsorship with BAM might have ended, and BAM has signed a new deal with YONEX.