BATC: Zii Jia in the driver’s seat for men’s singles


KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — Last year’s All England champion Lee Zii Jia, who was embroiled in a dispute with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM)  that has been amicably resolved, has been picked as national first singles for the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) 2022, next month.

The BAM-Zii Jia dispute came about after the World Number Seven decided to quit the national badminton governing body to turn professional earlier this month, following which BAM handed him a two-year suspension from competing in international tournaments.

However, the decision was overturned following Zii Jia filing an appeal and thereafter was given BAM’s blessings to become a professional shuttler.

BAM in a statement today also announced five other shuttlers namely Ng Tze Yong, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin, Leong Jun Hao, Lim Chong King and Jacky Kok Jing Hong to complete the line-up of national singles shuttlers for the biennial tournament.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympics 2020 bronze medallists Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are set to lead compatriots Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun for the men’s doubles.

The women’s team comprises Eoon Qi Xuan, S Kisona, Tan Zhing Yi, Siti Nurshuhaini Azman, Myisha Mohd Khairul for singles and the doubles pairings of Pearly Tan-M Thinaah, Teoh Mei Xing-Anna Cheong, Valeree Siow-Low Yeen Yuan and Go Pei Kee.

The BATC 2022 is scheduled to take place at the Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam from February 15-20.

In the tournament, Malaysia and nine other teams – Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, India, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and Singapore – will be vying to confirm their automatic spots in the 2022 Thomas Cup and Uber Cup Finals to be held in Bangkok, Thailand in May.

In the meantime, BAM in a separate statement announced that women’s doubles player and squad captain at the 2020 Uber Cup, Lee Meng Yean, hast left the national team.

“BAM confirms that women’s doubles player Lee Meng Yean will not be with the national team, effective  January 29, 2022.

“BAM wishes to express its gratitude to Meng Yean for her contribution to the national team, as she leaves with the best wishes of everyone at the association,” the statement said.

The last time the 27-year-old Melaka-born shuttler made an appearance with the national side was at the Indonesian Open last November alongside Yap Cheng Wen where their journey ended in the round of 16.

Meng Yean also made an appearance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with Chow Mei Kuan in the women’s doubles before her partner retired in September last year.

Together with Mei Kuan, they clinched silver and bronze at the 2017 and 2019 SEA Games respectively, besides managing to be in the world top 10 rankings in March last year.