It seems our favourite national badminton player Lee Zii Jia (李梓嘉) isn’t doing too good. Just last night (16th November), Zii Jia had to announce his withdrawal from the Indonesia Masters 2021 in Bali.
Fans were obviously disappointed, but it was for good reason. According to Zii Jia, he needed time to recover from his still lingering back injury. After all, you can’t play at your best if you aren’t at your best.
Fans were first made aware of his back injury during the finals of the Hylo Open on 7th November. Zii Jia had given his all against Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew (骆建佑), however the match ended unexpectedly during the third game when he was forced to retire. The 23-year-old had promised then to rest up as he was hoping to compete in further tournaments. Regretfully, his performance yesterday has derailed his future plans.
During the opening round of the Indonesia Masters, Zii Jia faced off against Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke. However, he had to pull out of the match in the first set when his back injury acted up, leaving him with a score of 9-11. “It’s true that my injury has not fully healed,” he admitted to RTM. “But I tried (to play) earlier and it still hurts.” The national player also shared that he suspected his body was tired and injured elsewhere as well.
The final verdict came last night via an Instagram post. Zii Jia regretfully announced that after discussing matters with his coaches and teammates, he had to retire from the tournament. “My body still needs to recover and prepare for the (upcoming) tournaments,” he wrote. “It’s sad that I couldn’t give my best, I’ll keep up my training and get back on court soon.” The national player also thanked Indonesian fans for their welcoming gifts and encouraging messages.
Zii Jia has received an outpour of reassurance and encouragement. Many have left him well-wishes to recover soon while others attempted to raise his spirits by reminding him there would be other games. Fans have been very understanding, after all, the 23-year-old did throw himself whole heartedly into five tournaments in a row.
National men’s singles head coach, Hendrawan was very clear that Zii Jia needs the break. “Zii Jia’s back injury is still not fully healed and he is still in pain, we will not force Zii Jia to continue playing,” he stated firmly. The head coach added that they will be monitoring Zii Jia’s condition in light of the Super 1000 Indonesia Open next week.
We wish him a good rest and hope to see him back on court when he’s good and ready. After all, no one wants him to push himself if he’s already injured. We’d rather he miss a few tournaments and recover his health than participate and potentially worsen his condition.