Chong Wei's sees no issue with Zii Jia's decision to skip Commonwealth Games

Badminton legend Lee Chong Wei sees no issue with world No 5 Lee Zii Jia's decision to skip next month's Birmingham Commonwealth Games in his bid for World Championship glory in August instead.

The world No 5's withdrawal has dealt a massive blow to the national contingent's hopes to retain the men's singles gold won by Chong Wei in the Gold Coast four years ago.

It will also be an uphill task now for Malaysia to wrest the mixed team gold back from India in the absence of the reigning Asian champion as the 24-year-old Zii Jia could have been counted on to deliver a point from the men's singles.

National No 3 Ng Tze Yong is expected to be called up to fill up the void left by Zii Jia, but it remains to be seen if the world No 48 is up for the challenge, especially against India's formidable Thomas Cup-winning shuttlers.

Worryingly, the Commonwealth Games are no longer an event that Malaysia are able to dominate with the emergence of rivals like India and Singapore.

"Zii Jia is a professional… it's entirely up to him to play for the country or not. He's not bound to any national team assignment," said Chong Wei.

However, he pointed out that he had always treated the Commonwealth Games seriously during his time with the national team.

Chong Wei featured in three Commonwealth Games in total, winning five gold and one silver in the process. The only time he couldn't make it was in Glasgow, 2014, as he was nursing a thigh injury.

He won the men's singles event in Melbourne 2006, New Delhi 2010 and Gold Coast 2018. He also led Malaysia to the mixed team gold in 2006 and 2010.

"As a national player, I was obliged to represent the country in the major multi-sport games, a duty which I gladly fulfil," said Chong Wei.

"The Olympic Games will always be the top of the priority, followed by the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

"I personally see the Commonwealth as a very prestigious games because it's held once every four years. It's a big honour to be able to win gold to add to Malaysia's medal tally."

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