PETALING JAYA: Lee Zii Jia has an additional opponent to deal with in his pursuit for excellence in the World Championships.
Former All-England champion Shi Yuqi, who was banned for a year by China for misconduct last year, has been named as replacement for Chen Long, who declined participation for the world meet in Tokyo, Japan next month.
The world meet will be the world No. 17 Yuqi’s first tournament since the Thomas Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark last year and the first world meet since missing the last two editions.
He withdrew from the last two editions due to ankle injury.
Shi Yuqi will be joined by Lu Guangzu and Zhao Junpeng for the stint.
The return of Yuqi will make the battle for men’s singles’ supremacy in the world meet more interesting as he will be more hungry to prove himself after a turbulent year.
Besides Yuqi, Zii Jia’s other challengers in the world meet are Viktor Axelsen and Anders Antonsen of Denmark; Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting, Jonatan Christie; Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn; India’s Lakshya Sen, K. Srikanth; and several players from Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.