Regardless of his return to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Lee Zii Jia will be under the Road To Gold (RTG) programme as one of the potential gold medalist for the 2024 Paris Olympics, according to Norza Zakaria.

There were speculations over the past few days if Lee would make a return to the national body after the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president posted a picture of him with the shuttler earlier this week.

Norza did not divulge further details on the rumour, but said: “Whether he returns to BAM or not, we are clear on one thing. He is a sure athlete for the RTG. Whatever he needs in terms of training, coaching and other, we will fully support.”

Norza’s revelation also unofficially confirmed Lee's status as the first athlete to be unveiled under the RTG programme, which was announced on March 12.

For the record, the RTG as a “top-up” initiative to the existing Podium Programme to fire Malaysia to its first Olympic gold.

Meanwhile, Sports and Youth Minister Hannah Yeoh said that she had been in contact with Lee over their much publicised yet-to-happen meeting.

“Zii Jia has contacted me after returning from Europe. We are still trying to find a date that can match mine and his calendar,” she said.

Lee’s next assignment will be defending his Badminton Asia Championships men’s singles title next month in Dubai.

The shuttler celebrated his 25th birthday on Wednesday with some much needed form after making the semi-finals of the All-England and Swiss Open.

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