KUALA LUMPUR (7 January 2019): If there is an award for the most improved shuttler or shuttlers in the national team, it has to go to the men’s doubles pair of Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.
From a lowly 200 in the rankings when they were first paired up in January last year, they embarked on a meteoric rise, climbing to an impressive high of 22 in the world.With the departure of V Shem-Wee Kiong from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) at the beginning of the year, Aaron-Wooi Yik can now claim to be BAM’s top pair.
“V Shem-Wee Kiong are top players and they are at the level which we aspire to be in the future,” said Aaron. “With their departure, we must be ready to take on the added responsibility.”
After a year playing together, Aaron reflects on the pair’s breakthrough year which saw them reach the quarter-finals of the World Championships in China last August.
“In the World Championships we beat three pairs before reaching the quarter-finals. Two of them were ranked higher than us, so we were delighted with our performance,” Aaron said.
“Overall, we were not truly satisfied with our performances last year as we failed to make it to a single final in all the major tournaments we competed in.”
En route to the quarter-finals of the World Championships, Aaron-Wooi Yik beat Chung Eui Seok-Kim Duk Yong of South Korea in the first round, then disposed of Taiwan’s World No 17 Lee Jhe-Huei-Lee Yang before pulling off a stunning upset over Denmark’s World No 6 Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.
Much to their disappointment they found China’s World No 2 Li Junhui-Liu Yiuchen too hot to handle but nonetheless bravely fought the top pair in the quarter-finals. Junhui-Yiuchen went on to take the title beating Japanese World No 3 pair Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda in the final.
Aaron, a 21-year-old from Malacca, and his partner Wooi Yik, hope to make amends this year by bagging their maiden title and hope to do so as early as this month.
“We are hoping to rectify things this year. Later this month, we will be playing in the Thailand Masters and Malaysia Masters,” Aaron disclosed. “In the Malaysia Masters, we are scheduled to meet defending champions Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia in the second round. That will be the biggest test for us but nonetheless we hope to make it to the final of our home tournament.”
The PMM 2019 is part of the BWF World Tour (Super Series) 2019, and this upcoming 11th edition of the tournament will see more than 350 shuttlers battling for part of the US$350,000 prize pool, a marked increase in prize money and participants from last year’s edition.
The PMM 2019 will be held at the Axiata Arena, KL Sports City on Jan 15-20. Fans must not miss the chance to see up close top badminton stars in action on our shores. Tickets are available through myticket.asia or by calling 03-8605 0195.
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