ZII JIA BLISTERED OUT AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN SPAIN

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 – It was a painful exit for national No 1 Lee Zii Jia when his  hopes of winning at least a bronze medal in the World Championships went up in smoke in the quarter-final tie against Denmark’s Anders Antonsen.
The 23-year-old Malaysian called it quits in the decider with the Dane, ranked No 3 in the world, leading 11-1 at the mid-game break.
Sixth seeded Zii Jia and ranked No 7, won the first game comfortably at 21-12 but it was all square after the second game.
With Zii Jia’s game affected by the pain and his movements on the court restricted, Antonsen forced a rubber with a 21-8 win.
It was one way traffic for the Dane in the decider when he led a 10-0 before Zii Jia broke the duck.
Pain and disappointment was written all over Zii Jia’s face when Antonsen shook hands with the Malaysian and enquired on his shock “retirement” from the world meet.
According to coach Hendrawan, Zii Jia sustained the blister in the third round match against Denmark veteran Hans-Kristian Vittinghus a day earlier.
A place in the semi-finals would have assured Zii Jia a bronze medal.
Antonsen, a silver medal winner at the last world meet in Basel, Switzerland in 2018 (he lost to Japan’s Keno Momota in the final).
It has been a disappointing outing for Malaysia in Spain. Top men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik failed to make the quarter-finals.
The Tokyo Olympics bronze medal winners continued their roller coaster run in their career and lost to China’s He Ji Ting-Tan Qiang 17-21, 21-14, 21-16 in the third round.
Where Aaron Chia-Wooi Yik flopped, professionals Ong Yew Sin-Ee Yi kept Malaysia’s flag flying in the men’s doubles and assured of at least a bronze medal when they marched into the last four after packing off reigning Tokyo Olympic champions Lee Yang-Wang Chi Lin of Chinese Taipei.
The Malaysians came through a three-game thriller with a come-from-behind 12-21, 21-17, 21-15 win in 65 minutes. In the semis they face Japan’s fifth seeds Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi.
Another professional pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong came unstuck against Ji Ting-Tan Qiang, losing in straight games 20-22, 14-21 in 40 minutes.
Also out of a medal contention is the mixed doubles pair of Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie after a 21-15, 21-13 defeat to Thai favorites Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai. The Thais are seeded No 2.

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