Lee Zii Jia (李梓嘉) has been trending on social media throughout this past week. Despite being defeated by China’s Chen Long (谌龙) in the nail-biting match yesterday, many applaud the 23-year-old for his sportsmanship.
The Malaysian badminton player fought a good fight with a score of 21-8 (first set), 19-21 (second set) and 5-21 (final set). This was Zii Jia’s maiden Olympic appearance in Tokyo, and many sports fans were hoping for him to win a medal.
“There is a lockdown now, many cannot go out or go anywhere. (They are) always watching television and giving their support to us (the national athletes). I wish to apologise for not being able to give them a medal as expected,” the shuttler from Alor Setar, Kedah said after his match.
He added, “In the first game, I was in total control. But in the second game, I threw away many points and had to play catch-up from the start and it didn’t pan out well. At the start of the third game, I lost focus and Chen Long, with his vast experience, knew how to handle the situation. I still have a lot to learn.” Nevertheless, Zii Jia is hopeful he can bounce back.
However, Twitterverse has been having a field day when Zii Jia’s old message from 2014 resurfaced. “Sorry if I hurt (you), I just (want to) focus (on) my badminton,” he tweeted from his iPhone on 19th June 2014 at 10:14pm. As a result, many are speculating if he had broken up with his teenage love when he was 16.
Suddenly girls everywhere are calling themselves Badminton ;p