The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) is confident the national contingent will achieve its two-gold medal target, despite the withdrawal of Lee Zii Jia.

“We had set a modest target of two gold medals. I heard the deputy Chef De Mission [Gerard Monteiro] saying the committee will now need to review its overall target of seven medals.

“We will discuss further about this. But I think badminton will continue giving medals to the contingent. We should look at it as a team. I think they are all eager to continue as Malaysia has a tradition in badminton,” said BAM president Norza Zakaria.

Lee decided to skip the Commonwealth Games, where Malaysia consistently delivered badminton medals in past editions, to rest sufficiently before he heads to the World Championships taking place in late August.

In the last edition in 2018, the national shuttlers delivered two golds through Lee Chong Wei and Chow Mei Kuan-Vivian Hoo.

Ng Tze Yong now heads Malaysia's challenge in the men's singles in Zii Jia's absence.

Lee, who is carrying a hip injury, pulled out upon advice from his medical team to rest right after the Malaysia Masters ends on July 10.

Meanwhile Norza was elated with the overwhelming response from the fans ahead of the Malaysia Open which begins on Tuesday.

“We are happy with the reception from the fans. Tickets were sold very fast, and now fans are still chasing us for tickets and passes. This indicates the popularity of the sport itself, especially after two years of pandemic.

“I hope that fans will give their full support to the Malaysian players,” he added.

Lee takes on Toma Junior Popov in the men’s singles opener, with a potential clash against Kento Momota in the quarter-finals.

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