Tokyo Olympics: Zii Jia gives his all irrespective of opponent


KUALA LUMPUR – National men’s singles champion Lee Zii Jia (picture), who made his Olympics debut on Sunday, said he does not take any opponent lightly and would give his all in every match in Tokyo 2020.

The 23-year-old, who easily tamed Ukraine’s Artem Pochtarov 21-5, 21-11 in just 25 minutes in his first match in Group M, said he would not want to give his opponents any room to put up a challenge.

“I’m really excited because this is my first Olympics and so far I am really enjoying it, but I also made a lot of mistakes in yesterday’s match. Whether the opponent is good or not, I take it seriously and give it my 100 per cent.

“Only one or two shots I had to make some extra effort, other shots that I could kill I did so to speed up the game to finish quickly because this is the Olympics,” said the world number eight through a video clip.

The 2021 All England champion will next meet Frenchman Brice Leverdez on Wednesday.

Although the meeting record between the two players is tied one win each, Zii Jia knows the ability of the Frenchman, who had pulled off upsets against former Malaysia badminton great Datuk Lee Chong Wei in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Danish Open and the first round of the 2017 World Championships.

“Before leaving for Japan, we discussed many strategies for the match against Leverdez. For the next two days, I will rest enough and do light training to be ready to face him, ”he said.

The 2019 SEA Games gold medalist must record a victory in the match to advance to the knockout round.