KUALA LUMPUR: Shocked and thoroughly upset.
That was the reaction from the deputy chef de mission to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Gerard Monteiro, upon knowing that national professional men’s singles ace, Lee Zii Jia had pulled out from the Games.
"I am disappointed because this is the Commonwealth Games and we were definitely hoping for him to bring us a medal,’’ Gerard said after he paid a visit to the national badminton camp at Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara on Thursday.
Last night, Zii Jia through a video shared to the media dropped a bombshell that he was withdrawing from the upcoming Commonwealth Games, citing the difficulty coping with the tight schedule he had been facing lately, besides wanting to focus fully on the World Badminton Championships in Tokyo, from Aug 22-28.
Asked whether Zii Jia had officially notified the contingent and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), Gerard said they had yet to receive anything from the world number five player as of now.
"I haven’t got any official statement from him, all we know for now is the video that he released yesterday and we were all very surprised,’’ he added.
Following Zii Jia’s withdrawal from the Games, Gerard admitted that they need to go back to the drawing board and re-look at the whole medal target as announced by OCM last week.
Malaysia are targeting seven gold medals in Birmingham, with two expected from badminton. - Bernama