Aaron-Wooi Yik determined to go home with bronze


PETALING JAYA: The battle is not over as far as Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are concerned.

The world No. 9 insist that their candles are still burning bright as they intend to fight with all their might in the bronze-medal playoff against Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo today.

Aaron-Wooi Yik’s hopes of winning an elusive gold for Malaysia have been dashed after going down 22-24, 13-21 to China’s Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen in the semi-finals yesterday.

They had entered the match with sheer confidence after having dumped world No. 1 Kevin Sanjaya-Marcus Fernaldi of Indonesia a day earlier but they found the towering world No. 6 Junhui-Yuchen too hot to handle. They did well to keep up with the blistering pace set by the Chinese in the opening game but fell behind in the second game.

Digging deep: Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in action against China’s Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen in their men’s doubles semi-final. The Malaysians lost 22-24, 13-21. — APDigging deep: Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in action against China’s Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen in their men’s doubles semi-final. The Malaysians lost 22-24, 13-21. — AP

For Aaron-Wooi Yik, a third-place finish is about pride.

They are determined to prevent the national badminton team from going home empty-handed for the first time since Athens 2004.

And they do not want to join the list of other Malaysian pairs who came up short in the bronze medal playoffs.

Soo Beng Kiang-Tan Kim Her (Atlanta 1996), Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah (Sydney 2000) and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (London 2012) all failed to convert their playoffs into medals.

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Against the three-time world champions Ahsan-Hendra, the stats are not looking too promising either as Aaron-Wooi Yik have only won once in eight meeting, with their recent defeat in the group stage a few days ago.

However, Aaron said he and Wooi Yik would not let negative thoughts get the better of them.

“We have to stay positive because there’s another crucial match for us tomorrow (today) and we hope that we can win a medal for Malaysia,” said Aaron.

Strong pair: Liu Yuchen-Li Junhui of China will play Taiwan’s Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin in the final today. — ReutersStrong pair: Liu Yuchen-Li Junhui of China will play Taiwan’s Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin in the final today. — Reuters

“This is our very last match in Tokyo, we have got to give our all.

“No matter how many times we have lost to them, we need to head into the match like it’s 0-0 (for the head-to-head record).”

Wooi Yik, who is the nephew of Beng Kiang, can’t bear the thought of going home empty-handed.

“Having reached this stage, we really want to try and win something... we want that bronze now,” he said.

“We’re not going to hold anything back and play our hearts out.”

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QUARTER-FINALS

Men’s singles: Heo Kwang-hee (Kor) vs Kevin Cordon (Gua); Viktor Axeksen (Den) vs Shi Yuqi (Chn); Anthony Ginting (Ina) vs Anders Antonsen (Den); Chen Long (Chn) vs Chou Tien-chen (Tpe).

SEMI-FINALS

Women’s singles: Chen Yufei (Chn) vs He Bing-jiao (Chn); P.V. Sindhu (Ind) vs Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe).

Women’s doubles: Greysia Polii-Rahayu Apriyani (Ina) vs Lee So-hee-Shin Seungchan (Kor); Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong (Kor) vs Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn).

FINAL

Men’s doubles: Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin (Tpe) vs Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn).

BRONZE MEDAL PLAYOFF

Men’s doubles: Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) vs Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas).

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