Tokyo – Malaysian men’s singles star Lee Zii Jia’s Tokyo Olympics debut ended in the Round of 16 after he lost 21-8, 19-21, 5-21 to defending champion Chen Long on Thursday.
Lee was in a class of his own in the first game, dominating the Chinese to come away with a surprising 21-8 victory in quickfire fashion.
Armed with the lead, the All-England winner was expected to continue in the same vein but it was Chen Long who recovered to slowly his way in the second game.
The Chinese comfortably led the Malaysian at 17-12 at one point, but Lee fought back and levelled at 19-19.
Hopes of a straight game victory was vanquished as Chen Long stood composed under pressure to convert the final two points to win 21-19.
Then, it was in the deciding game where it all went south for Lee.
All his shots, crosscourt smashing or his baseline returns which worked to perfection in the first game, did not materialise and Chen Long strode to an easy 21-5 victory.
The Rio 2016 winner will now take on Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien-chen for a place in the semi-finals.
Viktor Axelsen, Anders Antonsen, Anthony Ginting, Shi Yuqi, Heo Kwang-hee and Kevin Cordon are the other shuttlers through to the last-eight.
Malaysia still have another representative in Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, who face Chinese pair Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen for a place in the men’s doubles final on Friday, reported Stadium Astro.