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Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia to ‘quit badminton for a while’

CNA – Malaysian badminton player Lee Zii Jia has decided to take a break from the sport to rest and rediscover his motivation following a series of poor performances.

Lee, who was beaten in the first round of the Indonesia Open on Wednesday, did not indicate how long he would be away.

“I think for now I will probably temporarily quit badminton. I don’t know how long I will take, but I will quit badminton for a while, until I get motivation again,” he said in comments published by BWF following his 21-17, 21-13 loss to India’s Lakshya Sen in Jakarta.

“I will take a break and get rest for a while.”

His first-round exit was his second in as many weeks, following his 22-20, 16-21, 21-19 loss to China’s Weng Hong Yang at the same stage of the Singapore Badminton Open last week. Lee, who has been ranked as high as number two in the world, is currently the world number 11 after enduring an inconsistent first half of 2023.

Lee Zii Jia. PHOTO: THE STAR

While he reached the semi-finals of the All England Open and the Swiss Open, and was part of the Malaysian team that made it to the same stage of the Sudirman Cup, he has not gotten past the second round at any other tournament this year.

The 25-year-old said that he had been thinking about taking a break for some time.

“Maybe I will stop playing tournaments – I don’t know for how long. I have been considering this for quite long,” he said.

“It’s too much for me on court, I can’t concentrate 100 per cent. It will be good for me to take a break.

“The priority for me is to find my passion on court. I did well at the Sudirman Cup, but I haven’t done much different after that.”

Lee reached his career-high ranking in 2022, but he was also hit with a two-year ban by the Badminton Association of Malaysia last January after he quit the national team to compete as an independent player.

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