Zii Jia ends 17-month title drought (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: National professional men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia finally managed to end his 17-month title drought after emerging as the champion of the 2023 Arctic Open badminton tournament in Vantaa, Finland, today.

In the final at the Vantaa Energia Arena, the world number 14 could smile broadly when he got back on track after seeing off compatriot Ng Tze Yong in a 40-minute battle.

The Kedah-born shuttler displayed an encouraging performance when he won the first set 21-14 before continuing the momentum in the second set to triumph 21-15 over his opponent who is ranked world 19th.

The last time Zii Jia won a title was when he won the Thailand Open in May last year.

Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles finals, Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun’s hopes of claiming their career’s biggest victory were dashed by world number seven Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

The world number 23 Wei Chong-Kai Wun, went down 18-21,17-21 after a hard-fought 39 minutes against the Danish pair.

Wei Chong-Kai Wun advanced to finals after beating another Danish pair, Rasmus Kjaer-Frederik Sogaard 19-21, 21-19, 21-19 in the semi-finals, while Astrup-Skaarup eliminated three-time world champions from Indonesia, Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 21-19, 21-12.

This is the second time Wei Chong-Kai Wun finished runners-up in a World Tour Super 500 tournament this year, after the Malaysia Masters in May.

Their biggest achievement came last year, when they won two Super 300 titles, namely the Syed Modi International and Taipei Open. – Bernama