Lee Zii Jia lost the match but won Malaysia’s heart.
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Malaysian athlete Lee Zii Jia played a tough game against China’s Chen Long at the Badminton’s Men’s Singles round of 16 yesterday.
Despite his early success, Chen Long quickly caught up to him. Lee Zii Jia then lost the match with 21-8, 19-21, 5-21.
Still, Lee Zii Jia won in the eyes of Malaysians– won over their hearts, that is. Overwhelming support poured in for the 23-year-old athlete, with many claiming he will be Malaysia’s next badminton icon.
Trust me there is a New World No.1 in making!! Lee Zii Jia!! He is 23 and his current ranking is 8th in the world! 🔥🇲🇾 pic.twitter.com/m0gym4SPxv— Ravin Rao Santheran (@actorRavin) July 29, 2021
Netizens were, for a lack of a better word, thirsting over Lee Zii Jia.
to the one and only lee zii jia 😘 pic.twitter.com/MHvt99koC8— iana (@adrianakhrl) July 30, 2021
lee zii jia playing lee zii jia playing— cherry ☼ thrill ride 🎢 (@juyeonglows) July 29, 2021
badminton with my heart pic.twitter.com/n516NTB0fh
Some even (jokingly?) offered to fight things that hurt Lee Zii Jia, such as his opponent Chen Long for winning, as well as the floor of the badminton court because Lee Zii Jia got a scrape on the palm of his right hand.
chen long. me. u. selayang mall badminton court tomorrow. 6pm.— pee (@liannasn) July 29, 2021
Damn that floor . How dare u hurt Lee zii Jia pic.twitter.com/lgigoxwmDH— aeyeza (@beautifulzaa) July 29, 2021
Regardless of his loss, Lee Zii Jia definitely put on a performance to remember, and us Malaysians are standing by you.
It’s been so long since one individual can unite all Malaysians in a positive way together at the same time.— Typical Malaysian (@TypicalMsian) July 29, 2021
Thank you, Lee Zii Jia. That itself is worthy of a gold medal. Only legends can do that.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.