BWF China Masters 2023: Lee Zii Jia Dashes Ng Tze Yong’s World Tour Finals Aspirations

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Lee Zii Jia is through to the last 16 at the BWF China Masters 2023, knocking his Malaysian badminton compatriot Ng Tze Yong out in the process.

World number 11 Lee was made to work hard by his countryman in Shenzhen, with the men’s singles first round match going the distance in a 75-minute tussle. The 25-year-old triumphed 21-15, 20-22, 21-17, on Wednesday (22 November), live on Olympic Channel via Olympics.com.

At stake for both men were ranking points for the season-ending World Tour Finals, to be held next month in Hangzhou, also in the People’s Republic of China.

Only the top eight on the season Race to Finals men’s singles rankings are invited, and Ng sat in eighth place heading into this tournament with only one other event – next week’s Super 300 India International – left this season.

However, Ng is not due to take part in Lucknow, which coupled with results for the chasing pack behind him means he can no longer finish in the top eight.

Current world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand, sitting ninth in the Finals race, is guaranteed to draw level with Ng even if he loses in the second round after overcoming Kidambi Srikanth on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Japan’s 10th-ranked Nishimoto Kenta is also through to the second round in Shenzhen, and is set to compete next week in India, guaranteeing that he will earn enough points to overtake Ng regardless of his final results.

And, to add intrigue to the mix, Lee is also 11th in the Finals race. If he can keep up his recent good form, which has seen him reach two finals and win one of them (ironically against Ng), and make the last four, he too will overtake Ng.

Lee’s next opponent will be Chinese shuttler Lu Guangzu. Matches from the BWF China Masters 2023 are available to stream live on Olympic Channel via Olympics.com and the official Olympics app for mobile devices, subject to territorial restrictions.

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Elsewhere, Singapore’s 2021 world champion Loh Kean Yew saw his inconsistent season come to an early end as he was dumped out in the opening round by Indonesian world number two Anthony Ginting.

Ginting took the matchup 21-15, 21-19 in straight games. Loh is not entered in Lucknow next week and has not qualified for the Finals.

There was a major shock in the women’s singles draw as unseeded Vietnamese player Nguyen Thuy Linh overcame Rio 2016 Olympic champion Carolina Marín in three games.

Spanish fifth seed Marín appeared to be on course for a straightforward victory but lost her way, with Nguyen fighting back for a 10-21, 21-19, 21-15 triumph, including winning 12 of the last 14 points.

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