Thursday, June 30, 2022

BWF World Badminton: All England champion Lee Zil Jia decides to ‘play as a independent’, Olympic champions Viktor Axelsen ‘supports decision’

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BWF World Badminton – Lee Zil Jia Quits Malaysian Team: In sign not too positive for the state of World Badminton, Malaysian badminton ace Lee Zii Jia, has quit his country’s national team to play as an independent. Earlier former World No. 1 team of Hendra Setiwan & Mohd Ahsan quitted their national set-up clealy indicating all is not well with WORLD BADMINTON the way it is operated currently – Follow BWF & World Badminton LIVE Updates on InsideSport.IN

“Badminton unfortunately neither is a amateur sport or not fully professional like tennis. Players don’t earn well & there is too much control of national and global bodies. Players are under tremendous pressure due to this”, said one of the top global star on condition of anonymity.

It was not clear why Lee cut ties with the body, and there was no immediate comment from the player, but he could face sanctions.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) or BWF did not immediately respond to requests for comment on why players are quitting the national set-ups.

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BWF World Badminton: All England champion Lee Zil Jia decides to ‘play as a independent’, Olympic champions Viktor Axelsen ‘supports decision

Lee Zil Jia Quits Malaysian Team: Lee has been held up as the heir to Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei, rising rapidly up the rankings and scoring a breakthrough victory at the prestigious All England Open last year.

But the 23-year-old has performed poorly in recent months. He lost to China’s Chen Long at the Olympics and retired with an injury in the world championship quarter-finals.

After weeks of speculation, Badminton Association of Malaysia president Norza Zakaria confirmed that Malaysia’s top player had quit the body earlier this month.

“We see Zii Jia as an asset and we tried to persuade him (to stay) because we have groomed him since he was 13,” he was cited as saying by The Star newspaper.

“Now that he has reached this stage, winning the All England, we certainly didn’t want to lose him because he has a bright future.”

“However, he told us that he’s no Lee Chong Wei and he cannot cope with the pressure,” added Norza.

Previously, BAM banned Tan Chun Seang from playing in Asian countries for two years after he quit the national team.

However world number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark voiced support for Lee’s decision.

“If a player… feels it’s best for him to follow another path where he is more independent as a player, then that is what he should do,” tweeted the Olympic gold medallist.

“It’s his career and his life after all.”

All England champion Lee Zil Jia decides to ‘play as a independent’, Olympic champions Viktor Axelsen ‘supports decision’

Badminton is one of the few sports in which Malaysia performs well internationally.

Three-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei, who retired in 2019, was one of the greatest players of his generation.

Update: On Friday, Axelesen spoke up on Twitter once again. “Imagine yourself being in a position where you don’t feel happy in your current workplace and you want something to change. You go express your thoughts to your boss and tell her/him you want to quit and find another place to work,” he tweeted.

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