Soh’s down to earth despite high from Olympics feat

Steady: Soh Wooi Yik relishes the increase in fans’ adulation.

PETALING JAYA: A lot has changed for national shuttler Soh Wooi Yik after winning the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

A day after finishing third with partner Aaron Chia last month, the 23-year-old Wooi Yik’s social media platform has not stopped buzzing.

From 20,000 followers, he has now over 200,000 fans keeping a tab on his progress.

Fame and fortune has indeed put Wooi Yik and Aaron in the spotlight, but while enjoying their thrust into the limelight, Wooi Yik has promised to keep his eyes fixed on achieving more glory in badminton.

“I was shocked when I opened my Instagram after the third-place bronze medal match. It kept vibrating throughout the night,” said Wooi Yik.

“From 20,000 before the Tokyo Olympics, I’ve more than 200,000 now and it’s growing. They probably are inspired with what Aaron and I have achieved for the country.

“Most of the fans want to understand my life as a shuttler and they do give Aaron and I lots of support. Most of them post positive notes, which is very encouraging.

“They professed their support by telling us that they will stand by us whether we win or not – and they will not pressure us.

“Aaron and I have been kept busy after returning home, there were many interviews too.”

Wooi Yik however, said he would not let neither the instant popularity go to his head nor would he be easily satisfied with the splendid success in their Olympics debut.

“We will stay humble and keep on learning. We did not have a good experience after winning a silver at the 2019 All-England.

“After that success, we put too much pressure on ourselves... it affected our game. This time, we should keep this momentum and stay hungry for success.”

Wooi Yik said he did not visit his family after his quarantine was over as he wanted to focus on his preparation for the Sudirman Cup in Vaanta, Finland, from Sept 26-Oct 3 and the Thomas Cup in Aarhus, Denmark, from Oct 9-17.

“During the quarantine, I spent more time catching up with my family through video calls. I told my family that I would not go home to visit them... I had to sacrifice the time to prepare for the upcoming tournaments.

“I’ve always dreamt of playing in the Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup Finals... not only will I be playing, but Aaron and I will be the first doubles.

“I hope our experience in playing at the Olympics and all the hard work in training will prepare us for these major tournaments.

“It’s a challenge for sure as the top pair but Aaron and I don’t want to put a high expectation but we will use it as a platform to upgrade our standard in the game to another level.”

“One thing that I’ve to keep reminding myself is to play with more confidence,” added Wooi Yik.

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