BADMINTON: ZII JIA A BIG FLOP AT TOYOTA THAILAND OPEN

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 – Malaysia’s number one men’s singles shuttler, Lee Zii Jia crashed to first-round defeat in the Super 1000 Toyota Thailand Open 2021 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok after surrendering a 10-point lead in the second game against India’s Sameer Verma.
After taking the first game 21-18, the 22-year-old number eight seed Zii Jia looked good for a straight-game win with a healthy 18-7 lead.
However, at this stage, the Malaysian simply lost direction and his cutting edge to allow the Indian into the game.
Verma grew in confidence as Zii Jia, who is earmarked a potential medal winner at the Tokyo Olympics later this year, lost his character along the way, growing desperate for points.
Zii Jia heaped pressure on himself and at the end of 74 minutes, it was an 18-21, 27-25, 21-19 win for the Indian.
At last week’s Yonex Thailand Open at the same venue, Zii Jia made the quarter-final before bowing out to second-seeded Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei who won 21-17, 21-15. He made the quarter-final after India’s K. Srikanth conceded a walkover in the second round.
Professionals Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong got off to a winning start in the men’s doubles. The pair who finished runners-up in the Yonex Thailand Open advanced when Korean opponents Kim Gi-jung-Lee Yong-dae conceded a walkover four minutes into the match when Yong-dae suffered a calf injury with the Malaysians leading 6-2.
V Shem-Wee Kiong, the Rio Olympics silver medallist and former world champions will take on the Thai pair Supak Jomkoh-Kittinupong who surprised another Malaysian pair, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin 13-21, 21-13, 11-17.
Malaysia’s number one pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik who lost to V Shem-Wee Kiong in the first round last week, defeated Thailand’s Weerapat Phakjarung-Wongsathorn Thongkam 21-10, 21-18 to stay in contention.
Also on the winning mode was Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi but had to battle the distance before snatching a 19-21, 21-13, 21-19 win over homesters Nipitphon Phuangphuapet-Tanupat Viriyangkura in 54 minutes.
In the mixed doubles, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying smashed their way to a 21-13, 21-13 win over Germany’s Jones Jansen-Kilasu Ostermeyer while Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie outplayed the French pair of Ronan Labar-Anne Tran21-12, 21-15.
In the women singles, it was mixed fortunes for Malaysia. Soniia Cheah failed to clear the first hurdle with a 21-9, 21-14 defeat to second seed Sung Ji-hyun of Korea in 41 minutes. Malaysia’s hope now rests on s. Kisona.
The Sea Games champion breezed past Doha Hany of Egypt 21-10, 21-17 in only 23 minutes and will face India’s reigning world champion and sixth seed P.V. Sindhu for a place in the quarter-finals.
In the women’s doubles, Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen advanced after England’s higher ranked pair Chloe Birch-Lauren Smith21-14, 21-14.

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