Korea Open: Lee Zii Jia unable to overcome world No. 1 Momota

In the quarterfinals match at the Incheon Airport Skydome, the 21-year-old battled hard for over 50 minutes, but couldn’t overcome the Japanese shuttler, losing 15-21, 19-21. — Bernama pic
In the quarterfinals match at the Incheon Airport Skydome, the 21-year-old battled hard for over 50 minutes, but couldn’t overcome the Japanese shuttler, losing 15-21, 19-21. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Malaysia’s campaign at the 2019 Korea Open badminton championship came to an end as national men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia was defeated by world number one, Kento Momota.

In the quarterfinals match at the Incheon Airport Skydome, the 21-year-old battled hard for over 50 minutes, but couldn’t overcome the Japanese shuttler, losing 15-21, 19-21.

The national number one had just come off an amazing 21-18, 21-16 win over current world number seven and former world number one, Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the second round, yesterday.

With his victory today, Momota maintained his unbeaten record against the world number 16 Zii Jia, the last one being in the World Championship a month ago.

In the semi-finals tomorrow, the reigning world champion will face India’s Parupalli Kashyap, who defeated Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen 24-22, 21-8.

National men’s singles coach Hendrawan said Zii Jia displayed a better performance against Momota today compared to the quarterfinals defeat at the World Championship.

“Despite the loss, we saw a difference in the game. We did discuss on finding the best way to fight against Momota prior to the match.

“I think Zii Jia did his best, and we have to admit that Momota’s game is still above that of Zii Jia. Moving forward, we are trying to improve Zii Jia, so that he becomes more mature,” he said when contacted.

Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles, national number four pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani also failed to reach the semifinals when they were shown the exit by South Koreans, Choi Solgyu-Seo Seung Jae.

The world number 29 pair lost 18-21, 21-18, 18-21 in a more than an hour battle. — Bernama

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