,Badminton ace Lee Zii Jia announces that he is pulling out of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. – EPA pic, June 23, 2022.新2正网会
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“SHOCKED and upset”, that was the reaction of the deputy chef de mission to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Gerard Monteiro, upon knowing that badminton ace Lee Zii Jia pulled out from the Games.
“I am disappointed as… we were definitely hoping for him to bring us a medal,” he told reporters, after visiting Akademi Badminton Malaysia in Bukit Kiara in Kuala Lumpur today.
Lee, via a video shared to the media last night, dropped the bombshell that he is withdrawing from the upcoming Games.
He cited difficulty in coping with his tight schedule and wanting to fully focus on the 2022 BWF World Championships in Tokyo, Japan, slated for August 22-28.
On whether the shuttler has officially notified the contingent and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), Monteiro said they have yet to receive anything as of now.
“I have not gotten any official statement from him. All we have is the video that he released yesterday, and we were all very surprised.”
Following the pull-out, Monteiro said the team needs to go back to the drawing board and relook at the whole medal target as announced by OCM last week.
Badminton is expected to contribute two golds, while gymnastics, lawn bowls, squash, powerlifting and weightlifting are expected to chip in one gold each.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia previously banked on the men’s singles and mixed team events to achieve the target set.
Monteiro said he hopes other shuttlers can rise to the occasion and achieve glory in badminton.
The Commonwealth Games is scheduled to be held from July 28 to August 8. – Bernama, June 23, 2022.