Malaysian Badminton Player Lee Zii Jia Wins Thailand Open, World Ranking Soars

Scoring Malaysia’s first win in the men's singles at the Thailand Open in 17 years, the professional athlete will see his world ranking break into the top five for the first time this week

Tatler Asia
(Photo: Getty Images)
Cover  Malaysian badminton player Lee Zii Jia is currently ranked 6th in the world (Photo: Getty Images)

Badminton world no.6 Lee Zii Jia has ended Malaysia's 17-year drought at the Thailand Open, as he defeated China’s Li Shifeng in the men's singles finals last weekend to take the crown. Lee is only the third Malaysian to win the Thailand Open, after Yong Hock Kin in 2001 and Hafiz Hashim in 2005.

Following the win, Lee is expected to rise in the world rankings and break into the top five for the first time in his career. 

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Lee’s coach Indra Wijaya was quoted saying that Lee’s recent victory in Thailand was special for him and his team. “I’m pleased with his win as he showed maturity to overcome the deep trouble he was in. He was trailing but overcame the deficit in an excellent way. He never gave up.”

The 24-year-old athlete, who turned professional in January 2022, made international headlines in March last year when he won the prestigious All-England, beating world no.1 Viktor Axelsen from Denmark.

Earlier this month, he also took home the Asia Championship crown. He is expected to return to Kuala Lumpur to train for a string of upcoming tournaments, including the Malaysian Open in June, the Commonwealth Games in July and the World Championships in August.

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