KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Top national men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia can breathe a sigh of relief as he is likely to have an easier passage into the last four of the BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Tour Finals to be held in Bali, Indonesia from tomorrow.
World number eight Zii Jia, who has been drawn in Group B with India’s K. Srikanth, Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn and Frabce’s Toma Junior Popov, will thus avoid facing world number one Kento Momota of Japan and 2020 Tokyo Olympics champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the group stage.
Momota and Axelsen are the favourites to progress to the semi-finals from Group A, which also comprises Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke and India’s Lakshya Sen.
Meanwhile, 2016 Rio Olympics mixed doubles silver medallists Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying will have compatriots Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, Japanese world number Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino and Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje of Denmark for company in Group A.
In men’s doubles, national professional pair Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin have been drawn in Group B with Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi, Indonesia’s Pramudya Kusumawardana-Yeremia Rambitan and France’s Christo Popov-Toma Junior Popov.
A tough task awaits national women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, though, as they have been drawn in Group A with 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medallists Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu of Indonesia, world number four Kim Soyeong-Kong Heeyong of South Korea and world number nine Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand.
The top two players from each group will qualify for the semi-finals. — Bernama