Victor keeps faith with Zii Jia

KUALA LUMPUR: Sports equipment brand, Victor, will stand by professional shuttler Lee Zii Jia, through thick and thin.

In response to a recent report which opined the world No 2 men's singles could risk losing his sponsors due to his alarming decline in form lately, Victor through a Twitter post said: "Even if his form continues to drop, we will stand by him."

Zii Jia, 25, has been the subject of scathing criticism since his decision to first leave the BA of Malaysia (BAM) last year.

The Kedah-born managed to temporarily silence his critics when he landed the Asian Championships title and the Thailand Open crown in May.

However, the second half of the season was not so kind to Zii Jia who continued to court controversy when he skipped the Commonwealth Games in July, before dropping his former coach Indra Wijaya in November.

At the recent Malaysia Open, Zii Jia suffered his third consecutive early exit, when he was sent packing in the first round by Japan's Kodai Naraoka.

In his debut at the 2019 edition, Zii Jia was shown the exit in the opening round by Thailand's Suppanyu Avihingsanon, and last year, he crashed out in the second round after succumbing to Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito.

While there has been no official statement, it is understood that Zii Jia has signed a seven-year deal with Victor worth more than RM12 million.

Now without a coach, his professional team consist of former world No 10 Liew Daren, who acts as a coach and sparring partner, his sister Lee Zii Yii, who is also his manager, physiotherapist Sandra Fiedler, and physical trainer Lim Joe Heang.

Zii Jia's next assignment is the India Open which starts tomorrow in New Delhi. He will face Shesar in the first round.

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