SHUTTLER Lee Zii Jia’s mission to put his poor form behind him in the men’s singles competition in the Asian Games got off on the right note.
Zii Jia showed determination to come from behind to beat bogeyman Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong 15-21, 21-15, 21-16 in the first round at the Binjiang Gymnasium in Hangzhou yesterday.
The world No. 16 faced a tough task as he had lost his last four encounters against world No. 18 Angus including three defeats alone this year at the Indonesian Masters in January, Asian Championships in April and Korean Open in July.
Zii Jia’s only win over Angus had been in the 2019 German Open.
“The only thing on my mind was that I did not want to lose today (yesterday),” said Zii Jia in a post match interview with Astro Arena.
“We (my teammates and I) are professional and personally, I had to forget what happened in the team event.
“There’s no time to be sad as the individual events have started and we have to focus on this.”
The independent player has also been struggling for form lately and suffered a shock defeat at the hands of world No. 47 Jeon Hyeok-jin in Malaysia’s round-of-16 tie against South Korea in the men’s team event just five days ago.
The team eventually lost 1-3.
In today’s second round, Zii Jia should have little trouble overcoming Timor Leste’s Mourinho Zefi.
Meanwhile, another Malaysian representative Ng Tze Yong, who received a first-round bye, has a tough second-round match against Singapore’s 2021 world champion Loh Kean Yew.
In the women’s singles, independent player Goh Jin Wei breezed past Pakistan’s Ghazala Siddique 21-10, 21-4 in the first round.
She will face Vietnam’s Vu Thi Anh next for a place in the third round.