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National badminton ace Zii Jia falls to defending Olympic champion Chen Long despite best efforts

Malaysian men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia lost in three sets to China’s Olympic defending champion Chen Long.

Lee took the first set in convincing fashion with a 21-8 scoreline before the Chinese world No. 6 took the second set 21-19 eventually racing to a 21-5 win in the third set.

Chen will meet second seed Chou Tien-chien from Chinese Taipei this Saturday at 8am local time in the quarterfinals.

After waiting nearly two hours for their match to start due to other matches going into rubber sets, Lee and Chen were neck and neck all the way until 8-8 when Lee took three points in-a-row for an 11-8 lead at the break.

Upon resumption the 23-year-old went on to win 10 straight points to take the first set 21-8 in 20 minutes.

In the second set, Chen raced to a 4-0 lead before Lee got his first point. Chen continued attacking, causing the Malaysian to commit more errors, eventually heading into the break with an 11-7 lead.

Chen continued to dominate in the second set leading by as much as six points but Lee clawed his way back until they were level at 19-19. Chen however managed to win the set 21-19.

Chen started the third set in similar fashion to the first, racing to a 5-0 lead before Lee got his first point. He continued his dominance and took the halftime lead at 11-2.

He continued to rail in the points building his lead to 18-5 before eventually sealing the deal at 21-5.

In other quarter-final matchups, South Korea’s Heo Kwanghee plays Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen meets China’s Shi Yu Qi while Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting will meet third seed Anders Antonsen.

Apart from Lee, men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik have made it to the semifinals after an upset win over world No. 1 pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya from Indonesia.

The world No. 9 ranked pair took 33 minutes in straight sets 21-14, 21-17 for their first ever semi finals appearance in their maiden Olympic appearance as well.

They will meet China’s Li Jun Hui-Liu Yu Chen at 6pm today.

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