KUALA LUMPUR: Shuttlers Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are out of the challenge for honours in the World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, China, but they can still afford to smile.
The country’s No. 1 mixed doubles and men’s doubles pairs went down fighting in their second defeats in their respective group matches at the Tianhe Gymnasium yesterday.
With that, both pairs are out of the running for spots in the semi-finals.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying went down to Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand 21-16,28-26 in a thrilling 69-minute match in Group A.
The world No. 6 have one more match against Seo Jung-jae-Chae Yujung of South Korea but they have no chance even if they win as only the top two pairs in the group advance to the last four.
Thais Dechapol-Sapsiree and Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping of China are assured of semi-final spots but they will face each other today to determine the group winners.
It was the same story in the men’s doubles, as the hopes of the SEA Games champions Aaron-Wooi Yik went up in smoke after they lost their second Group B match yesterday.
They battled for one hour and four minutes before losing 20-22,23-21,14-21 to world No. 7 Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin of Taiwan.
A day ago, they had gone down to reigning world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.
Lee Yang-Chi-lin and Ahsan-Hendra will advance to the semi-finals but they take on each other today to determine the group winners.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann had only praise for both pairs.
It was the duo’s last tournament of the year but they have done well to end the year as one of the few shuttlers who have won titles this year.
He said Peng Soon-Liu Ying had fended off many young pairs to wrap up their campaign in 2019 by winning two titles – the Thailand Masters and the New Zealand Open.
“It’s a good year for this independent pair Peng Soon-Liu Ying, ” said Choong Hann.
“They managed to hold their footing given the challenging young opponents they had to face in every tournament.”
Choong Hann said that as for Aaron-Wooi Yik, it has all been about growth.
Before winning the SEA Games gold in the Philippines on Monday, the duo started the year well by reaching the All-England final to show others of their immense potential.
“They have grown as a pair. They showed that in every match, they are learning on how to cope with the best pairs in the world, ” said Choong Hann.
“Another great year awaits them – as long as they continue to learn and strengthen their core skills. They’ll surely get better than this.”
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