Lee Zii Jia

Lee Zii Jia
Born/Date of Birthday: 29 March 1998
Place of Birth: Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
Residence: Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Handedness: Right
Coach: Indra Wijaya
Country: Malaysia

Medal record
Men's badminton
Representing: Malaysia
Sudirman Cup
Bronze medal – third place    2021 Vantaa    Mixed team
Asia Team Championships
Gold medal – first place    2022 Selangor    Men's team
Silver medal – second place    2020 Manila    Men's team
Bronze medal – third place    2018 Alor Setar    Men's team
Southeast Asian Games
Gold medal – first place    2019 Philippines    Men's singles
Silver medal – second place    2017 Kuala Lumpur    Men's team
Silver medal – second place    2019 Philippines    Men's team
World Junior Championships
Silver medal – second place    2016 Bilbao    Mixed team
Bronze medal – third place    2016 Bilbao    Boys' singles

Lee Zii Jia (born 29 March 1998) is a Malaysian badminton player. He was the men's singles gold medalist at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and won his first BWF Super 1000 title at the 2021 All England Open.

Personal life
Lee Zii Jia was born in Alor Setar, Kedah to Chinese Malaysians Lee Chee Hin and Leow Siet Peng, teachers and former basketball internationals.

In 2015, he became the junior champion in the Perak and Selangor Badminton Open. These standout performances and wins in the international circuit earned him a place in the Badminton Association of Malaysia.

In November 2016, Lee won a bronze medal in the World Junior Championships after losing to Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo in the semifinals. In the same month, he advanced to the final of India International Series but was defeated by Lakshya Sen.

In February 2017, Lee reached the semifinals of the Thailand Masters, where he lost to Kantaphon Wangcharoen. In September 2017, he won his first senior title at the Polish International, against Soong Joo Ven in the final. In November 2017, Lee reached the semifinals of the Bitburger Open.

In October 2018, Lee reached the final of the Chinese Taipei Open by defeating the World No. 4 men's singles player, Chou Tien-chen in the semifinals. He defeated Riichi Takeshita in the final to win his first BWF World Tour title and second international title overall. Lee then reached the final of the Korea Masters but lost to Son Wan-ho.

Lee started the 2019 season by competing in the Thailand Masters. He lost in the quarter finals to Brice Leverdez of France in straight games. In the next tournaments, he also finished in the quarter finals in Malaysia Masters, Indonesia Masters, and German Open. He later lost in the early stage of Swiss, Malaysia, and Singapore Open's. He admitted that he had struggled to cope with financial difficulties, lack of progress and unfairness that affected his performance.

In August, Lee finally managed to make it into the semi-finals in the Thailand Open, where he lost to Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei. This was nonetheless an improvement to his being a quarter finalist in New Zealand and Indonesia Open's. He qualified to compete in World Championships in Basel, Switzerland, but lost to the World No. 1 men's singles player, and the eventual World Champion, Kento Momota of Japan in the quarter finals. In November, he was forced to retire in the second round of the China Open, and decided to withdraw as well from the next tournament in Hong Kong, due suffering from food poisoning and fever. Lee reached world No. 11 in the BWF World ranking on November 12th. In December, he won the men's singles gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games, and also helped the national men's team win the silver medal.

Lee opened the season by participating in Southeast Asian tours in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand Masters, with his best result being a semi-finalist in Malaysia, wherein he lost to the world number 1 Kento Momota in straight games.

Later in March, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe, the German Open was cancelled. Lee's next tournament was the All England Open, which was also be his debut at the tournament because his ranking was previously too low to qualify. He won against Jonatan Christie, who had won in four previous matches. He continued this win streak against Lu Guangzu and then the Olympic champion Chen Long. In the semi final match, he lost to Viktor Axelsen. The match lasted for 73 minutes. Further, Lee's performance at the All England Open raised his world ranking to no. 10 on 17 March 2020.

2021: All England Open title
In March, Lee won his first Super 1000 tournament at the All England Open, defeating the defending champion Viktor Axelsen by a score of 30–29, 20–22, 21–9. In July 2021, in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, Lee took part in the men's singles and won against Artem Pochtarov with a score of 21–5 and 21–11. In the subsequent match against Brice Leverdez, he won with a score of 21–17 and 21–5. Lee was eliminated in the round of 16, where he was defeated by Chen Long with a score of 21–8, 19–21, and 5–21.

2022: Leaving BAM and subsequent ban
In January 2022, there were speculation that Lee had indicated his intention to leave the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), citing unhappiness with the association, though reasons were never disclosed. He eventually officially resigned on 19 January. In response, Lee was banned for two years from participating in any international tournaments that required BAM's approval as well as any Badminton World Federation (BWF)–sanctioned tournaments. With the public and international players responding negatively on the ban, Lee appealed against the ban on 24 January 2022. The ban was lifted after Lee and BAM met on 25 January 2022, with the terms yet to be revealed.

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Categories: 1998 births, People from Kedah, Malaysian sportspeople of Chinese descent, Malaysian male badminton players, Badminton players at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Olympic badminton players of Malaysia, Badminton players at the 2018 Asian Games, Asian Games competitors for Malaysia, Competitors at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, Competitors at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games gold medalists for Malaysia, Southeast Asian Games silver medalists for Malaysia, Southeast Asian Games medalists in badminton
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