Is Zii Jia returning to BAM’s fold?

KUALA LUMPUR • Is national men’s singles professional shuttler Lee Zii Jia (picture) set to rejoin the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM)?

Rumours have been swirling that Zii Jia will rejoin BAM, more so since BAM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria uploaded photographs of him meeting the 25-year-old shuttler several times on his Instagram account recently.

However, Mohamad Norza, when contacted by Bernama yesterday, said the two times he met the world No 4 shuttler at a restaurant were mere coincidences.

He also refused to comment on whether the 2021 All England champion will rejoin the national body.

“For now, no comment. I bumped into him twice, they were not planned. Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh also wants to meet him…I’m waiting to see what will be the outcome of that meeting,” he said.

Local media recently reported that Zii Jia may rejoin BAM as the Road To Gold (RTG) team, it is learned, is trying to get the shuttler to return to the national governing body.

Mohamad Norza, who is also Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president, confirmed that an official meeting with the shuttler, who hails from Alor Setar, Kedah, would be held through the RTG programme, which is jointly chaired by him and Yeoh.

“We will see his (Zii Jia’s) requirements,” he said briefly.

Previously, the media reported Hannah as saying that she will hold a meeting with Zii Jia when he returns home from the series of tournaments in Europe in a bid to help the shuttler regain his form after some underwhelming performances of late.

Commenting on the performance of Zii Jia, who has just returned from the All England and Swiss Open, Mohamad Norza said the Asian champion seems to have found his rhythm and should be given time to do even better.

Zii Jia crashed out in the semifinals of the All England and Swiss Opens – losing 19-21, 13-21 to China’s Shi Yu Qi and 11-21, 14-21 to Japan’s Koki Watanabe respectively. – Bernama