Badminton

'Zii Jia, are you okay?'

KUALA LUMPUR: No one knows why, but shuttler Lee Zii Jia has deleted most of his posts on Instagram.

Apart from three categorised archives — Bruce, music and Rap — which are still accessible, the 25-year-old former All England champion has removed all other postings.

It remains to be seen if Zii Jia, who is currently ranked No 13 in the world, is going on a social media detox.

The independent shuttler announced he was taking an indefinite break from badminton after a first-round exit at the Indonesia Open a fortnight ago.

It was the Kedah born's third consecutive early exit after a sensational outing at the Sudirman Cup in May.

Some of his fans are beginning to wonder whether Zii Jia, who has been the subject of harsh criticism in recent months, is doing okay.

One Twitter fan asked: "Zii Jia, are you okay?"

Another said: "Negative vibes incoming, he knows. Also, he wants to take a break before Wong Tat Meng comes. Better to close or delete, or archive (his account) first."

It is important to note that Zii Jia's official Team LZJ Instagram account is still up and running.

Through this official account, he announced the appointment of former Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) singles coach Tat Meng as his new coaching director last month.

Zii Jia, who has been without a coach since dropping Indra Wijaya from his team in November, is expected to make his comeback at the Korea Open next month.

Despite the setbacks and challenges, Zii Jia still has the faith and trust of the Youth and Sports Ministry.

Undeterred by recent backlash from several quarters, the ministry decided to retain the former Asian champion in the Road to Gold (RTG) programme.

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