PETALING JAYA: Lee Zii Jia’s hopes of becoming the first Malaysian to lift the world title were dashed when he was stunned by China’s Zhao Junpeng in the third round on Thursday (Aug 25).
The national No. 1 men’s singles shuttler went down 19-21, 21-11, 21-19 to the spirited Chinese world No. 23 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
It was sweet revenge for Junpeng who had lost to Zii Jia in straight games in the German Open in March.
Junpeng will face HS Prannoy of India in the last eight. Prannoy stunned his teammate and Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen 17-21, 21-16, 21-17 in another third round.
It was also the end of the road for women’s double pairs Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah and Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien.
World No. 11 Pearly-Thinaah lost out to Japan’s Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida (No. 5) while independent pair Vivian-Chiew Sien succumbed 13-21, 16-21 to South Korea’s Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan (No 3).
Men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik brought some cheer to the Malaysian camp when they overcame compatriots Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani 21-17, 21-19 in the third round. They will take on the winners of the match between Choi Sol-gyu-Seo Seung-jae of South Korea and Taiwan’s Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin.
Mixed double pairs Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing also made it into the quarter-finals. They will face Japan’s Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino and China’s Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong respectively.