Lee Zii Jia powers on as Malaysia's lone singles shuttler left at World Championships

Malaysian shuttler Lee Zii Jia retrieves a shot at the 2022 BWF World Championships in Tokyo. (
Malaysian shuttler Lee Zii Jia retrieves a shot at the 2022 BWF World Championships in Tokyo. (PHOTO: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

MALAYSIA'S top men's shuttler Lee Zii Jia breezed into the round of 16 at the Badminton World Championships in Tokyo on Wednesday (24 August) with a comfortable victory over Portugal's Bernardo Atilano.

The world No.5 was in imperious form as he dominated his world No.138 opponent, carving out a 21-9, 21-13 win in just 35 minutes at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

In the round of 16, Lee will face China's Zhao Junpeng, who defeated last World Championships' runner-up Kidambi Srikanth of India 21-9, 21-17.

The 24-year-old is Malaysia's lone hope in the singles competitions, after Soniia Cheah - the remaining Malaysian in the women's singles - was knocked out by China's Chen Yufei 17-21, 15-21 in their round-of-32 tie.

Doubles pairs advance with much trouble

There was better news in the doubles competitions for Malaysia, with several pairs advancing into the last-16.

Veteran mixed doubles duo Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Lai had little trouble defeating England's Gergory Mairs and Jenny Moore 21-13, 21-18 in 33 minutes, while recently-crown Commonwealth Games women's doubles gold winners Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah also cruised through with a 21-8, 21-17 win over India's Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand in 36 minutes.

Another women's doubles pair, Vivian Hoo and Lim Chiew Sien, advanced after their round-of-32 opponents, Canada's Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai withdrew from the competition.

Men's doubles pair Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik were pushed hard by their opponents, Taiwan's Lu Ching-yao and Yang Po-han, but managed to pull out at 22-20, 21-18 victory in 42 minutes.

In the round of 16, they will face compatriots Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin, who defeated Ireland's Joshua Magee and Paul Reynolds 21-13, 21-12 to advance.

However, another men's doubles duo Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi crashed out, losing 20-22, 20-22 to Singapore's Terry Hee and Loh Kean Hean.

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