Will Zii Jia join Axelsen in Dubai for training?

Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia (right) poses with the winner's trophy next to runner-up Denmark's Viktor Axelsen after the All-England men's singles final. - AFP

PETALING JAYA: Olympic Games champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark is standing by Malaysian No. 1 shuttler Lee Zii Jia on the latter’s decision to turn professional.

Zii Jia has resigned from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and wants to continue his journey as an independent player.

The national body will make a decision on Friday whether to give Zii Jia their full blessing or to serve him a sanction.

Axelsen said Zii Jia has the right to choose his own career path.

"If a player, in this case Lee Zii Jia, feels it’s best for him to follow another path where he is more independent as a player, then in my opinion, that’s what he should do," said Axelsen on his social media platform.

"Having played against Zii Jia numerous times, I’m sure that no matter what, he will continue to do everything he can to produce good results and continue to do his best to make Malaysians, and everyone who supports him, proud.

"He will know what’s best right now and I’m looking forward to having many more exciting encounters against him. It’s not my business, but I just wanted to share my thoughts."

Axelsen is currently training on his own in Dubai with several players, including reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew. Both Denmark and Singapore have not stopped these players from playing in international tournaments but instead, had given them their blessing.

By openly throwing his support, the Dane may be even open to an idea for Zii Jia to join him in Dubai as an independent player and enjoy quality sparring sessions ahead of major tournaments.

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