If you haven’t heard the news, we’re not entirely sure where you’ve been all weekend. After all, Malaysia’s men doubles team Aaron Chia (谢定峰) and Soh Wooi Yik (苏伟译) recently bagged the World Championship title for the first time for Malaysia!
The duo faced off against the Indonesian shuttlers who had previously won four world titles. It was a tough battle, but they stuck to their guns and managed to bring home the gold. Of course, badminton legend Dato Lee Chong Wei (李宗伟) was quick to congratulate them on his socials. However, he also took the opportunity to clarify something a news site claimed he said about Lee Zii Jia (李梓嘉).
Dato Lee uploaded his post on Facebook yesterday (28th August) after the win was announced. “Since 1977, Malaysia has almost gotten gold several times, but (didn’t quite make it),” he said. Dato Lee added that 11 countries, including Sweden, USA and Singapore have become champions but not Malaysia. At least, until yesterday.
He praised Aaron and Wooi Yik for their hard work, saying they had given Malaysia a “wonderful National Day gift“. “Congrats on doing it, you made my unfulfilled dream happen,” he told the duo. “Today’s mentality, state and defense were all well done. Keep it up!”
In addition to congratulating Aaron and Wooi Yik, Dato Lee also shared snippets of conversations he had with his sons. Apparently, they had been watching the game and felt inspired to play doubles too. Or as Kingston put it: “We’ll play doubles because Papa (isn’t good at it). He never chose to do it.” Kingston also cheekily asked his dad if the following day was a holiday. “I almost asked Mew Choo if he really is my son,” Dato Lee jokingly added.
However, Dato Lee hadn’t forgotten national favourite Lee Zii Jia. Much to Zii Jia’s disappointment, he didn’t manage to go far this time, bowing out to China’s shuttler during the 16th round. During an interview, Dato Lee mentioned that he felt Zii Jia’s decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games had been “a wrong decision“. However, he respected Zii Jia’s choice and understood it was still his future.
Unfortunately, a news site mistakenly claimed Dato Lee had said Zii Jia should not have withdrawn from the national team. Needless to say, Dato Lee wasn’t too happy. He commented on their Facebook post asking for a source. “Because of your misinterpretation, my meaning was distorted and caused criticism,” he reprimanded. “In addition to seriously affecting my reputation, it also aggravated the split among fans.”
Thankfully, the news site responded and announced the correction on their socials. They also apologized to Dato Lee and others involved. However, Dato Lee has yet to comment on the recent clarification. Zii Jia himself also seems to be staying out of the incident.
Well, the 2022 BWF World Championships has certainly been a roller-coaster of a ride! We sincerely congratulate Aaron and Wooi Yik on their victory and hope Zii Jia will continue training for the next tourney. And as always, we’re certain Dato Lee will continue watching his juniors take up his mantle and his legacy.