COVID–19 NEWS   Spain’s Queen catches COVID-19 amid countrywide spike in infections | S Korea’s new COVID-19 cases bounce back to over 10,000 amid resurgence woes | Italy's COVID-19 transmission rate rises for 4th consecutive week | N Korea's first COVID-19 cases traced to area bordering S Korea: State media | COVID: Rise in new infections, drop in death cases last week - Health DG | 
SPORTS

Nation comes first, playing in Commonwealth Games a priority - Chong Wei

23/06/2022 08:31 PM

By Amiril Muttaqien Meketar

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 (Bernama) -- In the wake of singles ace Lee Zii Jia’s decision to opt out of the Commonwealth Games, former badminton great Datuk Lee Chong Wei said he would not have skipped the multi-sports event for any other competition.

The former world number one said playing in the Commonwealth Games had always been his priority as it was held once every four years, unlike the world championships, which are staged yearly except during an Olympic Games year.

“The world championships are more important for one’s career but the Commonwealth Games is far more important for the country,” he told Bernama when contacted today.

He said this when asked to comment on independent player Zii Jia’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, slated to be held from July 28 till Aug 8.

In a video shared with the media last night, Zii Jia said difficulties in coping with a tight schedule and the need to focus fully on the world championships in Tokyo from Aug 22-28 prompted him to skip the games.

Chong Wei never failed to deliver gold for Malaysia, including three in men’s singles, since he made his debut in the 2006 edition in Melbourne, Australia.

The Penangite missed the Glasgow 2014 Games due to injury.

The three-time Commonwealth Games champion pointed out that Zii Jia’s absence could prove costly for Malaysia in their bid to win two gold medals as targeted by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) last week.

“It’s definitely tough for the Malaysian men’s singles players to win gold because there are Indian players, Singapore’s 2021 world champion Loh Kean Yew and Bryan Yang of Canada,” he added.

Chong Wei believed that Zii Jia’s decision would also dim Malaysia’s hopes in the mixed team event although they would still have the services of world number six men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, world number 10 women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah and the experienced Chan Peng Soon in mixed doubles.

The three-time Olympic Games silver medallist said Zii Jia’s status as a professional had made it easier for the 2022 Badminton Asia Championships winner to skip Birmingham.

“The fact that he’s no longer part of the national team made it easy for him to not play in Birmingham. If he was in the national team, Commonwealth Games would surely be a priority,” he said.

He said the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s number one singles Ng Tze Yong now has no choice but to shoulder a huge responsibility to fill the void left by Zii Jia in Birmingham.

Chong Wei hoped the world number 48 will be prepared to showcase his best in the event at the National Exhibition Centre.

-- BERNAMA


Bernama is the trusted source of reliable real-time comprehensive and accurate news for both the public and media practitioners. Our news is published at www.bernama.com ; BERNAMA TV on: Astro Channel 502, unifi TV Channel 631, MYTV Channel 121 IFLIX; and Bernama Radio broadcasting locally on FM93.9 in Klang Valley, Johor (FM107.5), Kota Kinabalu (FM107.9) and Kuching (FM100.9).

Follow us on social media :
Facebook : @bernamaofficial, @bernamatv, @bernamaradio
Twitter : @bernama.com, @BernamaTV, @bernamaradio
Instagram : @bernamaofficial, @bernamatvofficial, @bernamaradioofficial
TikTok : @bernamaofficial

© 2022 BERNAMA   • Disclaimer   • Privacy Policy   • Security Policy