Tokyo: World No. 1 men’s singles superstar Lee Chong Wei breezed into the Japan Open quarter-finals with a quick demolition of Chinese player Qiao Bin 21-8, 21-16 on Thursday.
Lee was dominant in the first set, where he quickly raced out to a 12-3 lead and never looked back.
Qiao has shown greater resilience after taking the beating in the first set, but Lee unleashed his huge firepower, showing real elasticity to outlast Qiao in the second game.
Lee will face 20-year-old Shi Yuqi of China on Friday. Shi defeated Hong Kong player Angus Ng Ka 10-21, 21-12, 21-15 earlier Thursday.
Men’s singles No. 2 seed Viktor Axelsen and fellow Dane Jan O Jorgensen also made it to the final 8.
However, men’s singles No. 5 seed Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan bowed out from the tournament after losing a grueling three-set thriller 21-13, 15-21, 17-21 to Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradab.
In the women’s singles competition, Nozomi Okuhara of Japan who won her first Super Series title here in 2015, defeated China’s Chen Yufei 21-13, 21-16 and will face compatriot Akane Yamaguchi next. Okuhara beat Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals of Rio Olympics last month.
“It’s exciting to do a rematch of Rio Games in front of our home crowd,” said Okuhara who is also the Rio bronze medalist.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying manage to hang on to the stirring fightback from Jacco Arends/Selena Piek of Netherlands to advance to the quarter-finals. The Malaysian Olympic silver medalists will face Kim Gi Jung/Shin Seung Chan of Korea for a place in the semi-finals.