Lee Zii Jia, Chou Tien Chen and Chen Long crash out in series of World Championships shocks

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Lee Zii Jia is well on his way to becoming World's top player. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Lee Zii Jia is well on his way to becoming World's top player. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Basel: Lee Zii Jia, Chou Tien Chen and Chen Long were unceremoniously defeated in the quarter-finals of World Championship as the 2019 edition of the world meet went off with a bang.

Malaysia’s World No. 13 Lee Zii Jia was clearly no match for World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the men’s singles match that took place at St. Jakobshalle arena around Friday noon (Switzerland time).

Lee started the first game with solid defense, was leading Momota at 8-7. Unfortunately, after some unforced errors, Momota rallied to 11-8 at the interval. Then, the Japanese player wasted no time to take the first set 21-12.

The second set was rather one-sided as Momota upped the ante and burst through the finish line by winning the game 21-8 and will face B. Sai Praneeth of India in the semi-final. Sai Praneeth also produced a brilliant display to stun No. 4 seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia 24-22, 21-14.

In the bottom half of the draw, Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand pulled off a big upset when he took down World No. 2 Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan 21-16, 11-21, 21-14. The World No. 15 Thai player is set to square off with World No. 9 Anders Antonsen of Denmark on Saturday.

Meanwhile, two-time world champion (2014, 2015) and reigning Olympic champion, Chen Long from China, squandered a two set-point advantage, allowing Antonsen fighting back from 18-20 down to win the first set 22-20. Chen then seemed demoralized by his first set loss, had no answer to the kind of aggressive shots from Antonsen which left him no choice but to surrender the second set to the Dane 10-21.

In men’s doubles, No. 4 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan who also known as “the Daddies”, will set up an all-Indonesian semi-final against No. 7 seeds Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto.

After monopolizing the World Championships men’s doubles gold medal in the past two years, 2018 World Champions Li Jun Hui/Liu Yu Chen of China proved they were the better pair by outlasting the 2017 World Champions Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan 21-13, 21-12 and will play Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi of Japan for a spot in the final.

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