Birthday boy Zii Jia clears first qualifying match



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KUALA LUMPUR: Shuttler Lee Zii Jia turned 19 in style at the Orleans International in France.

Zii Jia got off to a flying start when he defeated Shinsai Deslauriers of France 21-10, 21-16 in the first round of the men’s singles qualifying tournament in Orleans.

He will take on Mathieu Perrin of France for a place in today’s main draw of the fourth-tier tournament.

Malaysia are counting on the Thailand Masters runner-up, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Wednesday, to go far in the tournament.

His main rivals will be top seed Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam and second seed Lars Schaenzler of Germany.

Zii Jia will be joined by Tan Jia Wei in the second round of qualifying.

Jia Wei disposed of Leo Rossi of France 21-18, 21-14 to set up a meeting against Adel Hamek of Algeria.

It was also a good day for Petaling Badminton Club’s Chen Tang Jie-Tew Jia Jia when they cleared the first round of the mixed doubles event in the qualifying round.

They defeated Liu Wei-cheng-Cheng Yu-chieh of Taiwan 21-18, 22-20 in 37 minutes to set up a date against England’s Matthew Clare-Victoria Williams.