Lee Zii Jia opens World Championships campaign against French world No.40

Malaysian shuttler Lee Zii Jia in action at the 2022 Malaysia Open.
Malaysian shuttler Lee Zii Jia in action at the 2022 Malaysia Open. (PHOTO: Wong Fok Loy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

MALAYSIA'S top men's shuttler Lee Zii Jia will open his Badminton World Championships campaign against France's world No.40 Brice Leverdez, as he bids to add the world title to his Asian title won back in May.

Following the official draw on Wednesday (10 August) for the championships - to be held from 22 to 28 August in Tokyo - the world No.5 is in the same half of the men's singles draw as Japan's world No.2 Kento Momota, world No.3 Anders Antonsen, as well as long-time rival and defending champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore.

Lee, 24, had won the Badminton Asia Championships and Thailand Open in May. However, he stumbled in the round-of-16 of the Malaysia Open in June, losing to Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito.

Compatriot and world No.42 Ng Tze Yong, who clinched a men's singles silver medal at the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, will face world No.36 Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo of Indonesia in his opening match at the World Championships.

World No.29 Daren Liew will have a tough matchup in his opening tie, as he faces world No.1 Viktor Axelsen, who has swept to four Tour titles this year, as well as the European Championships.

Doubles pairs earn byes into next round

Malaysia will have four pairs in the men's doubles competition, and all received byes into the round of 32.

World No.6 duo Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik will face either Spain's Joan Monroy/Carlos Piris or Taiwan's Lu Ching-yao/Yang Po-han, while world No.10 pair Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi will take on either Singapore's Terry Hee/Loh Kean Hean or France's Cristo Popov/Toma Junior Popov.

World No.12 Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin is set to face either Ireland's Joshua Magee/Paul Reynolds or Brazil's Fabicio Farias/Francielton Faris, while world No.15 Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong could meet either Denmark's Lasse Molhede/Jeppe Bay or Sri Lanka's Sachin Dias/Buwaneka Goonethilleka.

Women's doubles pair Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah, who clinched gold at the Commonwealth Games on Monday, also received a bye into the next round, and will face either compatriots Low Yeen Yuen/Valerie Siow or India's Tressa Jolly/Gayatri Gopichand Pullela.

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