Strike while the iron’s hot






Count on us: Aaron Chia (left) and Soh Wooi Yik hope to grow stronger and achieve more together now that they have moved into the top 10 of the world rankings.

Count on us: Aaron Chia (left) and Soh Wooi Yik hope to grow stronger and achieve more together now that they have moved into the top 10 of the world rankings.

KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik did not wait too long to set new goals after breaking into the world’s top 10.

In the latest rankings released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Wednesday, Aaron-Wooi Yik moved up one spot to 10th by overtaking Taiwanese pair Liao Min-chun-Su Ching-heng, who dropped to 12th place.

It’s the first time that they have entered the top 10 since playing together in November 2017. In just less than two years, they have moved from 200th in the world at the start of 2018 to their current position.

But rather than savouring the moment, Aaron-Wooi Yik have quickly raised the bar by pledging to break into the top eight.

“It feels great to have finally done it because it is something we’ve been wanting to do for a very long time,” said Aaron.

“We’re motivated to go higher, and we’re aiming to get into the top eight to ensure that we are in a more secure position for a place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”

The top eight in the world rankings at the end of the one-year qualifying period in April get a direct ticket to the Tokyo Games.

The pair surprised many when they marched into the quarter-finals in their debut at the World Championships in Nanjing, China, in August last year and sent shock waves through the men’s doubles scene with another big finish as runner-ups at the All-England in March this year.

They were one game up in the final but lost 21-11, 14-21, 12-21 to two-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setia­wan of Indonesia.

“In a way, it has been surprising how much we have accomplished in this short period of time but at the same time we have worked hard, trusted the process and it has brought us here,” said Aaron.

“We hope to grow stronger and achieve more together.”

Aaron-Wooi Yik will return to action at the Indonesian Open in Jakarta from July 16-21, where they will be looking to create a first-round upset against world No. 3 Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen of China.

They will then shift their focus to the Japan Open from July 23-28 and the Thailand Open (July 30-Aug 4).

WORLD RANKINGS

(Top 10)

Men’s singles: 1. Kento Momota (Jpn), 2. Shi Yuqi (Chn), 3. Chou Tien-chen (Tpe), 4. Chen Long (Chn), 5. Viktor Axelsen (Den), 6. Son Wan-ho (Kor), 7. Jonatan Christie (Ina), 8. Anthony Ginting (Ina), 9. K. Srikanth (Ind), 10. Kenta Nishimoto (Jpn). Selected: 17. Lee Zii Jia, 22. Liew Daren, 55. Soong Joo Ven, 69. Soo Teck Zhi, 100, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin.

Women’s singles: 1. Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe), 2. Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn), 3. Chen Yufei (Chn), 4. Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn), 5. P. V. Sindhu (Ind), 6. He Bingjiao (Chn), 7. Ratchanok Intanon (Tha), 8. Saina Nehwal (Ind), 9. Carolina Marin (Spn), 10. Beiwen Zhang (US). Selected: 21. Goh Jin Wei, 32. Soniia Cheah, 82. Lee Ying Ying.

Men’s doubles: 1. Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (Ina), 2. Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn), 3. Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn), 4. Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina), 5. Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe (Jpn), 6. Han Chengkai-Zhou Haodong (Chn), 7. Fajar Alfian-Muhd Rian Ardianto (Ina), 8. Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den), 9. Chen Hui-ling-Wang Chi-lin (Tpe), 10. Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas). Selected: 13. Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, 21. Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, 31. Mohd Arif Abdul Latif-Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub, 36. Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, 37, Chooi Kah Ming-Low Juan Shen, 93. Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong.

Women’s doubles: 1. Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara (Jpn), 2. Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn), 3. Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) 4. Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn), 5. Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu (Ina), 6. Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan, 7. Du Yue-Li Yinhui (Chn), 8. Shiho Tanaka-Koharu Yonemoto (Jpn), 9. Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha), 10. Gabriela Stoeva-Stefani Stoeva (Bul). Selected: 14. Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean, 22. Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen, 94. Anna Cheong-Lim Chiew Sien.

Mixed doubles: 1. Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn), 2. Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (Chn), 3. Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (Jpn), 4. Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha), 5. Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas), 6. Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti (Ina), 7. Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg), 8. Hafiz Faiza-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja (Ina), 9. Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith (Eng), 10. Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock (Eng). Selected: 13. Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie, 17. Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, 38. Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei, 54. Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See.