National badminton player Lee Zii Jia did Malaysia proud by winning the Badminton Asia Championships 2022 singles title at the finals yesterday.
The current World No.7 player defeated Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie, winning the first two sets with an outcome of 27-17, 23-21, finishing the game in only 45 minutes.
24-year-old Zii Jia brings home the trophy for Malaysia for the first time since 2016, when Lee Chong Wei won the title. He is the sixth Malaysian player to ever win the Badminton Asian Championship’s men’s singles crown.
This glorious win for both Lee Zii Jia and the country further sets him up as a strong hopeful for the Malaysia team that’s competing in the prestigious Thomas Cup next week in Bangkok.
Coach Indra Wijaya accredited Zii Jia’s success to the player’s ability and skills as well as the team’s hard work.
He said, “This win is definitely a proud moment for Malaysia. In the final, Zii Jia did well to control the game efficiently. This win boils down to the hard work put up by our solid team. Besides Zii Jia and I, there is our team manager (and Zii Jia’s sister) Lee Zii Yii, our trainers and also Liew Daren.”
Day 6 Smart Badminton Asia Championships 2022: Results Update
Finals: Men’s Singles
Lee Zii Jia 🇲🇾 vs Jonatan Christie 🇮🇩 : 21-17, 23-21
Congratulations to Lee Zii Jia from Malaysia, the Badminton Asia Men’s Singles Champion! 🔥🏸
📸: Jerry Lee & Emman Flavier pic.twitter.com/bUxmb384hQ
— Badminton Asia (@Badminton_Asia) May 1, 2022
Lee Zii Jia’s rise to success
Originally from Alor Setar, Kedah, Lee Zii Jia has proved himself as a stalwart badminton player ever since 2015 when he was crowned the junior champion at the Perak and Selangor Badminton Open. These breakout performances in the international circuit earned him a place in the Badminton Association of Malaysia.
Lee Zii Jia has seen a steady rise to success on the badminton circuit in recent years, winning the singles gold at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, as well as his first BWF Super 1000 title at the 2021 All England Open.
He caused some controversy when he indicated he wanted to leave the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) due to unhappiness, but the full reasons were never revealed to the public. He resigned on 19 January 2022 and was consequently banned for two years from participating in any international tournaments that required the association’s approval and Badminton World Federation (BWF)–sanctioned tournaments.
Lee appealed against the ban on 24 January 2022, which was consequently lifted, although the terms have yet to be revealed.
Hero and featured image credit: Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images