KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 25): Malaysia’s hopes of a gold medal in the men’s singles competition of the BWF World Championships evaporated in the land of the rising sun when ace shuttler Lee Zii Jia was shown the exit at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymansium by a lower ranked Zhao Jun Peng from China in the third round.
But while Zii Jia faltered, the men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and two mixed doubles pairs Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing kept the Malaysian flag flying after marching into the quarterfinals in contrasting styles.
Zii Jia, the fifth seed in the competition, failed to live up to expectations and lost 21-19, 11-21, 19-21 to the 23rd ranked player in three sets during the match that lasted 65 minutes.
Playing well below his capabilities, Zii Jia admitted that unforced errors and simple mistakes cost him the match against the Chinese player who earned a quarterfinal spot against India’s HS Prannoy since the Indian had beaten his fellow countryman Lakshya Sen, 17-21, 21-16, 21-17.
“I will try to be more patient and stabilise my game for the next tournament,” Zii Jia was quoted by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) after the match.
Aaron Chia-Wooi Yik moved into the quarterfinals after sweeping past Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, 21-17, 21-19 in an all-Malaysian third round affair while Soon Huat-Shevon Lai upset seventh seeded French pair Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue, 21-16, 21-4 in straight games.
The men’s doubles pair, ranked world number six, will meet the winners of the match between 10th seeded South Korean pair Choi Sol Gyu-Seo Seung Jae or fourth seeded Taiwanese pair Lee Yang-Wang Chi Lin in the quarterfinal tomorrow.
Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, who are seeded 11th in the competition will have a mountain to climb as they have been drawn against Japan’s third seeds Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino who disposed Thailand’s Robin Tabeling-Selena Piek, 21-12, 21-19 in straight games.
Another mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing pulled off a pleasant upset by defeating home favourites Kyohei Yamashita-Naru Shinoya 21-12, 21-14 in straight games to set up a date with the competition’s top seeds Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong of China who beat Thailand’s Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran, 21-9, 19-21, 21-19.
In the women’s doubles Birmingham Commonwealth Games gold medal winning pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah wilted under the might of fifth seeded Japanese pair Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida, going down 16-21, 16-21 in straight games.
Another women’s doubles outfit Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien also suffered a similar fate when they lost to South Korea’s third seeds Lee So Hee-Shin Seung Chan, 13-21, 16-21. – Bernama