Lee Zii Jia admitted he did not want to waste time against Artem Pochtarov after cruising to a 21-5, 21-11 victory in his Tokyo Olympics opening Group M match on Sunday.

Lee only needed 25 minutes against the Ukrainian, who gifted many points with numerous unforced errors especially in the opening stages of the first game where he sent the shuttle long.

“I didn’t want to waste any time. This is the Olympics and every match should be 100 percent effort, which is why I killed off the rallies as soon as I could. I did experiment with a few shots, but overall I just wanted to finish it off as fast as possible.

“As for Brice Leverdez, I have a strategy to face him. Now it’s about getting enough rest and training a little before playing him,” said Lee after his win.

Lee needs to beat the Frenchman to top his group and qualify for the last-16, as only group champions will qualify to the knockout round.

Meanwhile, three-time silver medalist Lee Chong Wei took to social media to voice his dismay at the criticism directed at national shuttlers who failed to win their matches.

“As a former team-mate, I felt so much for them. They went to court with only one aim, one goal. To win the game for the flag on the chest, to make us proud. No athletes want to lose. Sometimes it is just not your day.

“Even people watching on television are disappointed, what more those on court. Shouldn’t we support them?” he lamented.

A lot of the criticism were directed at mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, who lost both their matches and blew their chance of qualifying to the quarter-finals.

But the 2016 silver medalists will get a chance to end their campaign on a winning note with a showdown against Chinese pair Wang Yi Lyu-Huang Dong Ping later today (5.40pm).

(Photo: asiana.my)

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