Lee Zii Jia got off to a perfect start in his Tokyo Olympics campaign after handing Ukraine’s Artem Pochtarov a 21-5, 21-11 thrashing in their Group M opener.
Lee was utterly in control throughout this one sided contest, killing off short rallies with decisive smashing and helped significantly by his error strewn opponent.
The Ukrainian gave away numerous points in the first game by sending the shuttles long for the Malaysian to cruise to a 21-5 win.
The world number eight duly wrapped up the contest at 21-11 in the second, to wrap up victory in 25-minutes and momentarily top his group.
Despite barely being stretched, fans will be encouraged to see glimpses of what Lee will bring in his upcoming match, especially his cross-court smashes which was the standout of this victory.
Lee will only confirm his spot in the last-16 if he beats Brice Leverdez in the final group game, with the Frenchman expected to provide a much tougher challenge compared to Pochtarov.
Meanwhile, Malaysian women’s doubles pair Chow Mei-Lee Meng Yean failed to emulate his feat in the following match as Japanese top seeds Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota overcame them 17-21, 21-15, 21-8.
After being humbled in their opening match against the Indonesian pair yesterday, Chow-Lee looked to have brought their A-game to this contest against the top seeds, but still fell short in the deciding game.
In the first game, they were more compact in their defence, had the staying power in long rallies and were spot on in their decision making to pick the right winners at crucial stages to win 21-17.
Buoyed by that first game win, Chow-Lee raced to a 5-1 lead in the second game and looked to be in control, but the Japanese fought back to seize the initiative and went into the interval with an 11-10 lead.
That slender advantage was enough for them to continue keeping the Malaysians at bay to eventually level at 21-15.
The third game was where it all went awry for Chow-Lee, who looked weary in the continuous long rallies, leaving the Japanese top seeds to close out with a 21-8 victory.
The pair will wrap up their campaign against English pair Chloe Birch-Lauren Smith in the group’s final match.