LEE Zii Jia crashed out of the Badminton World Championships in Tokyo on Thursday (25 August), succumbing in a tightly-fought match against China's Zhao Junpeng in the round of 16.
The Malaysia world No.5 was up 14-10 in the third game, but could not withstand his world No.23 opponent's fightback, eventually losing 19-21, 21-11, 19-21 in 65 minutes at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
With Lee's loss, Malaysia's involvement in the men's and women's singles competitions has ended, with all their shuttlers being eliminated before the quarter-finals.
Men's, mixed doublers pairs soldier on into quarter-finals
There were better news in the doubles competitions, however. Veteran mixed doubles duo Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Loh continued their good recent form by defeat France's Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue 21-16, 21-4 in the round-of-16 tie.
Another mixed doubles pair, the eighth-seeded Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing, comfortably advanced with a 21-12, 21-14 win over Japan's Kyohei Yamashita and Naru Shinoya.
And in an all-Malaysia men's doubles tie, sixth seeds Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik defeated 11th seeds Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin 21-17, 21-19.
However, both of Malaysia's women's doubles pair exited. Commonwealth Games gold medallists Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah were beaten 16-21, 16-21 by fifth-seeded Japanese duo Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida, while Vivain Hoo and Lim Chiew Sien fell to world No.3 pair Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan of South Korea 13-21, 16-21.
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