Olympic-bound Zii Jia captures Australian Open title after beating Kodai


I did it: Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia poses on the podium with his trophy following his victory against Japan's Kodai Naraoka during their men's singles final match at the Australian Open in Sydney. - AFP

PETALING JAYA: Top men’s shuttler Lee Zii Jia has bagged his second title of the year after beating Japan’s Kodai Naraoka in the Australian Open final on Sunday (June 16).

World No. 8 Zii Jia, who won the Thailand Open this year, blew hot and cold en route to taking down world No. 6 Naraoka 21-19, 11-21, 21-18 in an hour and 18 minutes at the Quaycentre in Sydney Olympic Park.

It was his third win against Naraoka in six meetings.

Malaysia last won the Australia Open through Lee Tsuen Seng in 2008.

With the win, Zii Jia is expected to remain in the top eight standing in the world and likely to be seeded at the Paris Olympic Games in July.

Earlier, women’s doubles pair Lai Pei Jing-Lim Chiew Sien ended their fairytale run in the tournament by finishing runners-up after losing 21-12, 7-21, 13-21 to Indonesia’s Febriana Dwipuji-Amallia Cahaya in the final.

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