Fresh from win, Aaron-Wooi Yik feeling upbeat against Hendra-Ahsan


Top form: Mohd Ahsan (left) and Hendra Setiawan in action against Canada’s Nyl Yakura and Jason Ho-Shue during the men’s doubles event. — Reuters

PETALING JAYA: Doubles shuttlers Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik believe they can upstage Indonesians Hendra Setiawan-Mohd Ahsan in today’s battle between the rising young talents and old stars.

Their confidence is understandable as they have begun their quest for Olympic Games glory with a promising start after pulling off a superb 24-22, 21-15 win against South Korea’s Seo Seung-jae-Choi Solgyu in their first Group D match yesterday.

In the 43-minute match at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza, the Malaysians played confidently even though they were given a good fight in the opening.

Any other first-timers would have melted under pressure but the world No. 9 Aaron-Wooi Yik kept their relentless attack intact and defended well to outpace the Koreans.

It was their third win in five meetings against the world No. 8 pair.

“We played confidently and believed in ourselves. Wooi Yik and I came with a plan and we stuck to it. We played the right strategy to beat them,” said Aaron.

With the flying start, Aaron-Wooi Yik have a good chance to make the top eight elimination round.

Only the top two pairs in a group will advance to the quarter-finals and the Malaysians want to enter the knockout stage as the Group D champions.

That means they will have to win their next two matches against Hendra-Ahsan and Canadians Jason Ho-Shue-Nyl Yakura.

The 24-year-old Aaron said the good start in their first Olympics had given them the confidence to face the experienced Hendra-Ahsan in their second group match.

“We’ve beaten them once and we believe we can do it again. The good start today has given us the confidence,” said Aaron.

The Malaysians came close to upsetting the Indonesians at the 2019 All-England but were beaten in the final – and they will be looking for sweet revenge today.

The statistics, however, are against the Malaysians.

They have only won one of their seven duels against the veterans – in the quarter-finals of the 2019 China Open.

The Indonesians, who have won world titles and many accolades, were also impressive in their opening group yesterday when they blew away Ho-Shue-Yakura 21-12, 21-11 in just 25 minutes.

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