Wooi Yik gives junior pal Zii Jia a big boost on his birthday

They go back a long way: Shuttlers Lee Zii Jia and Soh Wooi Yik during their junior days.

PETALING JAYA: National men’s doubles shuttler Soh Wooi Yik will always treasure his close bond with independent singles ace Lee Zii Jia which was formed since their junior days.

That was reflected in Wooi Yik’s heartfelt birthday message to Zii Jia, who celebrated his 25th birthday yesterday.

“Happy birthday my 12 years best brother, Lee Zii Jia,” posted Wooi Yik on social media.

“Thanks for always being the one I can trust with my whole heart.

“No matter what I’m going through, you always know how to make me feel better.

“I wish and hope your life will be full of success and happiness.

“You deserve and was born to conquer the world.”

Wooi Yik also went on to post photos of the duo since their junior days in the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

Wooi Yik and Zii Jia’s friendship had remained strong even after the latter had made the decision to leave the BAM early last year to turn professional.

The former’s support is a boost for Zii Jia, who is still facing many challenges as a professional player.

Zii Jia had been originally slapped with a two-year ban from playing badminton before the BAM lifted it after talks and intervention from then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He had also been on a poor run of form, failing to survive the early rounds of six consecutive individual tournaments starting from the French Open last October.

Zii Jia, who parted ways with his Indonesian coach Indra Wijaya last November, is still embroiled in a legal battle with the latter over a dispute regarding his dismissal.

Zii Jia, though, can take positives from his improved displays in his last two competitions – the recent All-England and Swiss Open – where he reached the semi-finals.

The world No. 4 will next be turning his attention to defending his Asian Championships title from April 25-30 in Dubai.

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