Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian badminton team has suffered a huge blow following the withdrawal of Lee Zii Jia from the 2022 Commonwealth Games which will be held from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, UK.
The World No. 5 player said he decided to skip the Commonwealth Games so that he could focus on the World Championships which will be held from August 22 to August 28, in Tokyo, Japan.
Lee told Astro Arena that withdrawing from the Commonwealth Games we a difficult decision for him as it was one of his dreams to represent Malaysia at the quadrennial sporting events.
“The decision was made due to the condition of my body after playing in many tournaments consecutively,” said Lee.
“I had to choose between the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships. I also had a discussion with my team and we’ve decided to focus more on the World Championships,” Lee said via video footage uploaded on Astro Arena’s Twitter.
Perseorangan lelaki utama negara, Lee Zii Jia korbankan impian beraksi di Sukan Komanwel Birmingham 2022 buat kali pertama bagi beri fokus dan tumpuan kepada Kejohanan Dunia musim ini !!!! pic.twitter.com/C4YIZIzyCk
— ASTRO ARENA (@ASTROARENA) June 22, 2022
The 24-year-old said he is currently trying his best to get ready for the Malaysian Open which will be held from June 28 to July 3 and the Malaysian Masters from July 5 to 10.
In addition to the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Lee has also pulled out of the Singapore Open.
Even though the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) announced on May 30, 2022, that Lee Zii Jia was one of the world-class men’s singles players set to compete in the US$370,000 (RM1.6 million) Singapore Badminton Open. But in the latest Singapore Open draw published by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), Lee can no longer be seen in the men’s singles bracket.
Lee, who won the Badminton Asia Championships on May 1, 2022, had just returned from Jakarta, last Monday after going through two consecutive tournaments – the Indonesian Masters and the Indonesian Open.
At the Indonesian Masters, he advanced to the quarterfinals while the Indonesian Open saw him lose to Viktor Axelsen in the semi-finals 21-19, 11-21, 21-23.
According to Lee’s coach, Indra Wijaya, Lee had suffered a hip problem at the Thailand Open at the end of May. Wijaya said Lee is still recovering from the hip problem, that’s why they are being more cautious and selective in sending Lee to compete in tournaments.