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Fantastic Zii Jia dethrones Axelsen to take All England crown
[Image: AP21079650857842.jpg]

PETALING JAYA: Lee Zii Jia gifted Malaysian badminton its first All England Open champion in four years after taming title holder Viktor Axelsen in three tight games today.

Despite starting as underdog in Birmingham against the men’s singles second seed, the 22-year-old sixth seed rose to the occasion to win the final 30-29, 20-22, 21-9 in 74 minutes.

The first two games were close affairs but by the third game, world No 2 Axelsen was a spent force and the fitter Zii Jia raced clear to wrap up the decider in 18 minutes for his second win in five matches against the Dane.

An elated Zii Jia, who made the semifinals in his debut last year, said: “I can’t describe my feelings. It’s a very special moment for me. I wanted to fight for every point and just never give up.”

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