Lee Zii Jia, Soniia Cheah advance as Lin Dan exits Thailand Open

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Lee Zii Jia enters 2019 Thailand Open quarter-finals. (photo: AFP)
Lee Zii Jia enters 2019 Thailand Open quarter-finals. (photo: AFP)

Bangkok: Malaysia’s World No. 17 men’s player Lee Zii Jia fought back from a set down to beat World No. 18 Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 21-14, 12-21, 21-8 to enter Thailand Open quarter-finals on Thursday.

Lee is set to face Indonesia’s qualifier Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, who pulled off a huge upset in the second round by beating two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan on Thursday.

The badminton legend from China race to a quick 10-3 lead in the first set before winning the game 21-12. Lin Dan committed too many unforced errors allowing the 25-year-old Indonesian to force a decider by taking the second game 21-15. Lin’s stamina started declining in the third-set as he was quickly fell behind by 2-8, 9-16, allowing Rhustavito to continue his aggressive attacks which gave him the 21-10 third-set victory.

In women’s singles, Malaysia’s Soniia Cheah produced a brilliant performance as she stunned fifth seed He Bingjiao of China 21-15, 21-12 in 32 minutes. Cheah will next take on No. 1 seed Chen Yufei of China whom she lost to in the Indonesia Open second round last week.

For Malaysian fans, there were mixed results in the men’s doubles. In the face of huge pressure to win some high quality matches, Rio Olympic silver medalists Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong showed awesome display of mental toughness and determination to edge past World No. 6 Han Cheng Kai/Zhou Hao Dong of China 19-21, 21-16, 21-18 on Thursday. Goh/Tan will face another Chinese pair, the World No. 2 Li Jun Hui/Liu Yu Chen in the final 8.

Unfortunately, two other Malaysia pairs’ Thailand Open run came to an end Thursday afternoon as Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik lost to China‚Äôs Huang Kai Xiang/Liu Cheng 20-22, 17-21 while Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi went down to Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Cheol of Korea 8-21, 17-21.

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