Aaron-Soh tame Indonesian world champions for the first time


  • Badminton
  • Saturday, 09 Nov 2019

Going strong: Soh Wooi Yik (front) and Aaron Chia beat reigning world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 21-13,22-20 in the quarter-finals of the Fuzhou China Open yesterday. — Reuters

PETALING JAYA: National men’s badminton doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik have been off the radar since their impressive outing at the All-England in March but when they came back on, it certainly wasn’t a blip. It was a blast!

They beat reigning world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 21-13,22-20 in the quarter-finals of the Fuzhou China Open for their first win over the Indonesians in five meetings.

The revenge was certainly sweet for World No. 14 Aaron-Wooi Yik as it was Ahsan-Hendra who denied them at the All-England final.

“Our relentless efforts (to overcome Ahsan-Hendra) have finally paid off, ” said Aaron.

“We had the game plan to beat them all this while, it’s just that we didn’t perform up to the mark.

“Wooi Yik and I haven’t played with such confidence for quite a while. We’re looking to carry this form into the remainder of the tournament.

“We’re still searching for our breakthrough title, let’s hope this is it. We’re not too far away.”

Aaron-Wooi Yik will take on world No. 4 Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda of Japan for a place in the final.

It was also a case of better late than never for the mixed doubles pair of Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie.

World No. 11 pair Soon Huat-Shevon were just as impressive as they upset in-form world No. 4 Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-13,21-18 of Thailand to reach their third World Tour semi-final this season after the All-England and German Open.

The win also ended a three-match losing streak to the Thais dating back to October last year at the Denmark Open.

Shevon believes she and Soon Huat have finally put their recent struggle behind them.

They were doing well before their momentum was disrupted by Soon Huat’s injury problems.

“I think we both have grown more mature not only on court, but also as individuals, ” said Shevon.

“During these few rough months, we were backing each other up and that makes us cherish our partnership even more.

“We have definitely made some good progress and we’re looking to build on it.”

Soon Huat-Shevon face a daunting semi-final showdown against world No. 1 Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong, whom they have not beaten in all four previous encounters.

In the women’s doubles, Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean’s gallant run ended as they lost 15-21,14-21 to world No. 2 Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota of Japan.

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