A good chance for Zii Jia to break into world's top eight

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite winning the Thailand Open last Sunday, Lee Zii Jia's position in the men's singles world rankings remains unchanged at No. 10 according to the updated list on Tuesday.

However, the 26-year-old's accomplishment has brought him closer to breaking back into the world's top eight.

If Zii Jia produces another strong performance at the Malaysia Masters this week, he has a promising opportunity to achieve this goal, which is crucial for securing a good seeding at the Paris Olympics in July.

With Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn and India's H.S. Prannoy, currently ranked No. 8 and No. 9 respectively, absent this week, Zii Jia has a great opportunity to surpass them.

To achieve this, the former world No. 2 will need to finish at least second at the Malaysia Masters.

The last time Zii Jia was ranked as high as No. 8 was in May last year.

A total of 41 qualifiers are confirmed for the Paris Olympics men's singles competition, and Zii Jia is almost assured of being seeded, as the preliminary round is expected to feature 13 groups.

However, it's imperative for him to secure a place among the top eight to avoid facing tough contenders like Denmark's Viktor Axelsen or China's Shi Yu Qi as early as the round of 16, provided he advances past the group stage.

The Paris Olympics seedings will be announced on July 5.

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