PETALING JAYA: Lee Zii Jia put up an incredible show to emerge as the All-England men's singles champion.
The 22-year-old toiled for one hour and 14 minutes to dethrone Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 30-29,20-22,21-9 in a pulsating final at the Arena Birmingham on Sunday (March 21).
With the win, Zii Jia ended a four-year title drought for Malaysia to show that he is indeed the worthy successor of his senior Lee Chong Wei. Chong Wei was the last Malaysian to win the title in 2017.
In a match that went down to the wire, Zii Jia was cool and composed.
He kept the pace with Axelsen, fought brilliantly with his stinging smashes and had all the right moves to frustrate the Dane.
The opening game was a thriller as he showed who was the master of the game by winning it 30-29. He could have won it in straight games but luck deserted him.
But he got it right in the decider and he proved that he was the deserving champion when he romped home for his first major title.