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Zii Jia, who is set to make his Olympic debut in Tokyo this July, will play South Korea’s Heo Kwang Hee today for a place in the quarter-final. - NSTP/EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

LEE Zii Jia was not in the mood for another early exit as he checked into the second round of the Thailand Masters yesterday.

The 22-year-old, who was sent packing in the first round of the Indonesia Masters last week, bounced back in style to see off India’s Sameer Verma, 21-16, 21-15 at the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok.

Zii Jia, who is set to make his Olympic debut in Tokyo this July, will play South Korea’s Heo Kwang Hee today for a place in the quarter-final.

Joining Zii Jia in the second round is independent shuttler, Liew Daren, who defeated another Indian shuttler, H.S. Prannoy 21-17, 20-22, 21-19 last night.

Daren, however, faces a tall order today, as he takes on former world No 2, Shi Yuqi of China.

It was the end of the road for qualifier, Cheam June Wei, who played hard but still couldn’t muster enough firepower against Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto, who wrapped up the match in his favour, 17-21, 21-17, 21-14.

In the women’s singles, Malaysia’s only prospect for the Olympics, Soniia Cheah, barely broke a sweat, when she defeated Thai shuttler, Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, 21-14, 21-18 to set up a second round date with China’s Cai Yan Yan, today.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best of comebacks for two-time world junior champion, Goh Jin Wei, who was thrashed 21-12, 21-8 by world No 3, Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.

Meanwhile, both Malaysian mixed doubles cleared the opening round.

Last week’s Indonesia Masters semi-finalists, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing defeated Denmark’s Mathias Bay Smidt-Rikke Søby 21-19, 21-17, and will play Indonesian qualifiers, Dejan Ferdinansyah-Serena Kani today.

National No 1, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, had to claw back from a game down to beat Taiwan’s Yang Po Hsuan-Hu Ling Fang. The Malaysians will next play the winner of the match between Germany’s Mark Lamfuss-Isabel Herttrich and another Taiwanese duo, Lee Jhe Huei-Hsu Ya Ching.

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