Sun.Star Cebu

Lee Zii Jia wins men’s title in Smart Badminton Asia Championsh­ips 2022


LEE Zii Jia of Malaysia captured his first-ever Asian title as he prevailed over Jonatan Christie of Indonesia, 21-17, 23-21, in the men’s singles finals of the Smart Badminton Asia Championsh­ips 2022 last Sunday, May 1, 2022, at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Muntinlupa City.

Lee Zii Jia, the seventh-ranked player in the world, gained 12,000 points in BWF World Rankings to create some separation over the eighth-ranked Christie who received 10,200. The other semifinali­sts in China’s Weng Hong Yang and Indonesia’s Chico Auta Dwi Wardoyo bagged 8,400 points each.

Almost two years and seven months after getting his first-ever Southeast Asian Games gold in this very same venue, Lee made another first with this Asian title.

“This is a very special place for me,” Lee shared. “I would like to thank the fans in the Philippine­s and around the world, especially my hometown, Malaysia, for the support. I think this is the best present for them. This is how I repay them, and hopefully, more to come.”

The 24-year-old Malaysian needed to fend off Christie twice in either frame, where he got the first set on errors of the Indonesian.

Christie threatened to force a deciding set after a four-point swing saw him at game point. Miscues late in the match for the 2018 Asian Games champion then leveled the set at 21, before Lee pocketed the last two points that sealed the title in his favor.

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