Zii Jia's coach quits

KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Zii Jia's preparations for the Paris Olympics were dealt a blow on Friday with sparring partner-cum-assistant coach Liew Daren quitting Team LZJ, citing personal reasons.

"In any journey, there is always a beginning and an end. Today was my last day with Team LZJ," Daren announced on his Facebook account. "I have tendered my resignation for personal reasons."

Following Indra Wijaya's departure in November last year, Daren had taken on the role of caretaker coach for world No. 11 Zii Jia.

However, Zii Jia is now guided by Wong Tat Meng.

"I leave with a heavy heart but also with wonderful memories as Team LZJ provided me with a meaningful chapter in my badminton life.

"I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to Team LZJ and wish them all the best for the coming season," Daren said.

The 36-year-old, a former World Championships bronze medallist, added: "To those who have supported me and followed my career, this is definitely not the end.

"I have known badminton since I was young, and perhaps this is the right time for a much-needed recharge before the next adventure."

In an official statement, Team LZJ said: "His presence will be sorely missed by all within the team.

"Thank you, captain, for all you have done, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours."

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