Pro Zii Jia’s favourable seeding set to open up chance to go far in Paris

That’s good news: Lee Zii Jia will avoid meeting the seven other top shuttlers until the quarter-finals at the Paris Olympic Games.

PETALING JAYA: Professional shuttler Lee Zii Jia will be banking on a favourable seeding to enhance his chances of winning a gold at the Paris Olympic Games.

Zii Jia crucially maintained his position as the world No. 7 in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) ranking issued yesterday, which will be used for the Olympics seedings that will be published tomorrow.

It’s good news as this will enable him to avoid the seven other top shuttlers until the quarter-finals at the Paris Games from July 26-Aug 11.

Those he will not meet early are world No. 1 Shi Yuqi of China, defending champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark (No. 2), Jonatan Christie of Indonesia (No. 3), Denmark’s Anders Antonsen (No. 4), Kodai Naraoka of Japan (No. 5), China’s Li Shifeng (No. 6) and world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand (No. 8).

If only he had slipped out of the top eight, he would have made matters worse as he could play the big names above in the last 16 stage.

Such setback had happened to Zii Jia in his first Olympics in Tokyo in 2021 where he was seeded ninth and had to take on sixth seed Chen Long in the last 16.

The Malaysian lost and the Chinese shuttler went on to win silver behind Axelsen.

Zii Jia had recalled the lessons of Tokyo and is hoping for a better outing in Paris.

“I’ve learnt a lot from the Olympics debut and I’ve another shot at redemption on the biggest stage of them all,” he tweeted through the Team LZJ account.

“My first Olympic where I dared to learn. I learned of responsibility and learned from the experience.

“I also learned from failure ad have continued to learn. And now, I want to put what I’ve learnt to the test.

“I’ve finally learnt the true meaning of perseverance and determination.”

The 13 seeds in the men’s singles will be placed in 13 groups where the champions will head to the last 16 stage.

It’s different in the doubles as only four pairs will be seeded.

Men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik have retained their position at world No. 5 and will not be seeded but it is unlikely to give them a major headache.

The top four seeds are world No. 1 Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang of China, Denmark’s Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (No. 2), Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty of India (No. 3) and South Korean world champions Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae (No. 4).

The 16 qualifiers for the doubles events will be divided into four groups where Aaron-Wooi Yik should be with one of the four seeds.

The Malaysians should secure a top two spot in their group to advance to the quarter-finals.

However, world No. 13 Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah may have a seeded pair and also a top eight pair in their group which will make it tougher for them to advance to the knock-out stage.

The same goes to mixed doubles Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei who could also be grouped with two top eight pairs.

In the women’s singles, world No. 32 Goh Jin Wei may also face early trouble as she could be placed in the same group as one of the top eight seeds.

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Badminton , Lee Zii Jia , Paris Olympics.


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