Lee Zii Jia is set to endure a challenging quest at the Tokyo Olympics after the Malaysian was placed in Group M of the men’s singles event alongside Brice Leverdez (France) and Ukraine’s Artem Pochtarov in the draw done on Thursday.
If he advances as group champion, Lee will most likely go on to face defending champion Chen Long of China and, should he ace that contest, a potential last-eight clash against second seed Chou Tien-chen.
The tournament ninth seed should have little problems finishing champion of his group against Leverdez and Pochtarov who are ranked 36th and 98th respectively.
Soniia Cheah also faces a tough task in the women’s singles after being paired against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon and Hungary’s Linda Sarosi in Group N.
Should the Malaysian finish top of her group to qualify for the knockout round, Cheah will go on to face the winners of Group M containing Gregoria Mariska Tunjung and Germany’s Lianne Tan.
Mixed doubles pair Goh Liu Ying-Chan Peng Soon were drawn in Group D along with China’s second seed Wang Yi-lyu-Huang Dong Ping, Germans Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich and Hong Kong’s Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet.
In the women’s doubles, Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean are housed in Group A that can be billed the group of death, containing top seeds Japanese Sayaka Hirota-Yuki Fukushima, Indonesia’s Apriyani Rahayu-Greysia Polli and English pairing of Lauren Smith-Chloe Birch.
Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik will have the company of Indonesians Hendra Setiawan-Mohammad Ahsan who beat them at the 2019 All-England final in Group D of the men’s doubles.
Besides that, they also have South Koreans Choi Sol-gyu-Seo seung-jae to contend with in the race to finish in the top two, with Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue-Nyl Yakura completing the group.
The doubles format will see the two top pairs from each group qualify to the knockout rounds, where another draw will be made.