Team Lee Zii Jia issued a statement following news reports of the shuttler’s post-match interview having abruptly ended following his defeat at the Asian Games men’s team event on Thursday.
Lee, who went down against South Korea’s Jeon Hyeok-jin in three games in the first singles, was in the midst of his post match interview when a volunteer came and signalled that the interview was over.
Lee adhered to that, and later it was confirmed that interview regulation time was between 90-120 seconds.
Susulan kontroversi mengenai sesi temubual Lee Zii Jia ditamatkan secara tiba-tiba selepas aksi pertama di Sukan Asia Hangzhou..— pekxian (@syennn__) September 28, 2023
Ini jawapannya.. pic.twitter.com/qQuAFtsgxR
“The reports claimed Team LZJ and Lee Zii Jia himself created controversy by cutting short post match interviews after his match for Team Malaysia on Thursday. Team LZJ would never do something of that sort.
“What happened at the mix zone was under the purview of the Asian Games organizers. Team LZJ openly accepts criticism on performances as it is part and parcel of being in high performance sports.
“But at this point feel that we have tolerated enough unnecessary character assassination when it comes to reports concerning Lee Zii Jia. We truly feel your disappointment at not being able to help secure a point for the team and we can never apologize enough,” read the statement.
Lee’s defeat was the start of a nightmare outing for the national contingent, who eventually succumbed to a 3-1 overall loss to the South Koreans.
Ng Tze Yong and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi both lost their matches in straight games, with only Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik getting the solitary point after they beat world champions Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae.
“Both teams gave their best, but the Koreans who were more consistent. We made some mistakes and it proved costly,” said Ong.
The shuttlers will have to pick themselves up ahead of the individual event that begins on Monday.
Team LZJ including Lee Zii Jia has always had respect to the nation’s media as an important entity that has helped shape Lee Zii Jia as a person and his career as an athlete.— Team LZJ (@TeamLZJ) September 29, 2023
Team LZJ has always tried to the best of our abilities to accommodate the country’s media.