Zii Jia suffers foot injury in Swiss Open defeat

KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 10 Lee Zii Jia will have approximately two weeks to recover from a foot injury before returning to action at the Badminton Asia Championships (BAC) in Ningbo, China, from April 9 to 14.

Team LZJ took to social media to reveal that Zii Jia experienced difficulty with his movement during his 21-16, 21-15 defeat to India's K. Srikanth in the16 at the Swiss Open in Basel on Thursday.

"It was a tough day at the #SwissOpen2024 court. Foot injury sustained by Lee Zii Jia during the opening round restricted his movement in this match.

"But hats off to Srikanth Kidambi and best of luck," posted Team LZJ shortly after the match.

Zii Jia did appear to slightly injure his foot during the second game of his opening-round encounter with Yang Su Li of Taiwan.

He fell to the ground while attempting to retrieve a shuttle in the front of the court.

However, Zii Jia shrugged off the incident as he cruised to a 21-19, 21-12 win.

Zii Jia's recent performance in Basel, where he fell short of expectations, won't affect his qualification for the Paris Olympics, as he will still maintain his position within the top 16 of the Race to Paris standings after this week.

As it stands, Zii Jia, currently ranked No. 10, is set to be Malaysia's sole representative in men's singles at the Paris Games.

However, it's crucial for Zii Jia to break into the world's top eight to secure a favourable seeding for his second Olympics appearance.

Ahead of the Paris Olympics seeding deadline on July 2, Zii Jia aims to regain his top form at the BAC.

This continental flagship tournament offers points equivalent to a Super 1000 event on the World Tour.

In addition to the BAC, Zii Jia will target valuable points at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 and Singapore Open Super 750 in May, followed by the Indonesia Open Super 1000 in June.

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