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Zii Jia braces for rite of passage as a pro in Euro tourneys

THE STAR – Independent shuttler Lee Zii Jia will face big tests when he competes in the German Open and All-England.

Except for China’s best, all the top players, including Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, Kento Momota of Japan, and reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore, have entered their names for the back-to-back European tournaments from March 8-13 in Mulheim and March 16-20 in Birmingham respectively.

The others listed for both events are Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting, Jonatan Christie; Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen; Denmark’s Anders Antonsen and India’s K Srikanth and Lakshya Sen.

The top two players missing are China’s Chen Long and Shi Yuqi but their presence will be made up for by their younger players Lu Guangzu and Zhao Junpeng.

Junpeng, however, has only made the cut for the German Open and will be the first reserve for the All-England.

For world No 7 Zii Jia, it’ll be his first two individual tournaments since turning professional – and all eyes will be on him at the All-England.

Last year, the 23-year-old Zii Jia went on a rampage when he knocked out Momota in the quarter-finals and Axelsen in the final to lift the All-England title in style.


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