Will Zii Jia pen his commitment to RTG?

KUALA LUMPUR: Team LZJ will meet with the RTG committee soon to discuss Lee Zii Jia's commitment to the programme.

Zii Jia's sister, Zii Yii, the manager of Team LZJ, cited a tight tournament and competition schedule as the reason for the delay.

On Tuesday, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh revealed that Zii Jia was the only RTG athlete yet to sign the commitment agreement.

The RTG committee has given the former All England champion two weeks to respond.

RTG is an elite athlete preparation programme designed to provide Malaysia's top athletes with additional support to compete for gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics, the 2028 Los Angeles Games, and other major international competitions.

In addition to sport science, competition exposure, and coaching support, athletes under RTG also receive a monthly allowance of RM3,000.

"Due to our tight tournament and training schedule, we are working on arranging a meeting with RTG. Only after the meeting can we share more details," Zii Yii told Timesport.

Earlier, RTG coordinator Datuk Stuart Ramalingam disclosed that the committee had made various attempts to reach out to Zii Jia, but the former world No. 2 has not responded.

Zii Jia was among the first group of athletes to join the programme in April.

To date, the committee has reduced the number of athletes to only 15, all of whom have signed the agreement, except for Zii Jia.

In fairness to the Kedah-born, he has been playing in back-to-back tournaments since the Hangzhou Asian Games in September.

Zii Jia only returned to Malaysia after exiting in the second round of the Super 750 French Open last week.

His next tournament is the Super 300 Korea Masters in Gwangju next week.

"We will make efforts to arrange the meeting as soon as possible because the Korea Masters is already next week," added Zii Yii.

The other shuttlers under RTG include world No. 15 Ng Tze Yong, former world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, and Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei.

Mixed doubles pairs Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing were removed from the program due to a lack of results and a drop in performance.

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