Zii Jia, Soniia move to next round of World Badminton Championships

Lee Zii Jia. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia continued his fine form at the 2019 World Badminton Championships by beating China’s Lu Guangzu at the St Jakobshalle Indoor Arena in Basel, Switzerland on Tuesday.

Zii Jia bounced back to seal a 12-21, 21-14, 21-15 victory in the 63-minute encounter after losing the first set.

“It was a good fight just now for the both of us, it was not easy to win the match, he had good pacing and strategy in the first set, luckily I got my confidence back and started to fight back in the second and third sets.

“Tomorrow will be an off day for me, I will be playing Nishimoto in the last 16. So, hopefully, I can get a good rest and give my best on Thursday,” said the world 13th-ranked player today.

The 21-year-old would be facing eighth-seeded Kenta Nishimoto of Japan in the third round to book his place in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, China’s five-time world champion Lin Dan suffered a shock defeat to India’s HS Prannoy 21-11, 13-21, 21-7 in the second-round match. Prannoy, currently ranked 30th in the world, will face first seed Kento Momota in the third round.

National women’s singles player Soniia Cheah managed to overcome the challenge of Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin in her opening match of the tournament today.

Soniia won the first set 21-8 but almost lost her momentum in the second set, though she bounced back to seal the match with a 21-18 victory and progressed to the next round.

“Today I’m happy to pull through the first match, she played better during the second set, more patient… but overall I’m happy that I controlled the match… Tomorrow is a tougher and much stronger wall to break,” she said.

The 26-year-old player is set to face Canada’s world number nine Michelle Li in the second round.

Meanwhile, independent mixed pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying took 51 minutes before they defeated Canada’s unseeded Joshua Hurlburt-Yu-Josephine Wu 21-18, 19-21, 21-16

The fifth seed pair would be meeting either former teammates Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai or Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Wakana Nagahara.

Men’s independent pair Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif-Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub failed to progress into the second round after losing to Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov 12-21, 19-21.