At least survive the group stage in Bangkok, says Rexy

Huge boost: Aaron Chia (back) andSoh Wooi Yik have been nominated for BWF’s ‘Pair of the Year’ award.

PETALING JAYA: Rexy Mainaky wants his charges Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah to at least survive the group stage of the World Tour Finals in Bangkok from Dec 7-11.

Men’s doubles world champions Aaron-Wooi Yik will be facing tough competition at the World Tour Finals where eight of the top 10 pairs will be competing while Pearly-Thinaah will also face a tough time aiming for a place in the women’s doubles semi-finals.

The top two pairs will advance to the last four.

Besides Aaron-Wooi Yik and compatriots Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, the other pairs who have qualified are Indonesian pairs Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto and Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan, China’s Liu Yucheng-Ou Xuanyi, Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi, Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Choi Sol-gyu-Kim Won-ho of South Korea.

In the women’s doubles, Pearly-Thinaah and independent pair Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien will join China pairs Zhang Shuxian-Zheng Yu and Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan, South Korea’s Jeong Na-eun-Kim Hye-jeong, Thai pairs Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard of Thailand and Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai and Indonesians Apriyani Rahayu-Sati Fadia Ramadhanti in Bangkok.

“Aaron-Wooi Yik and Pearly-Thinaah have been doing well in training. They undergo an extra session (starting at 5am) to prepare them for the World Tour Finals,” said Rexy.

“The competition in Bangkok is going to be very tough for them as the most of the top pairs will be competing. Both of our pairs qualified as the eighth pair, so they will have some tough matches.

“However, the target is to get past the group stage. They are well prepared and have to go with the confidence to face the top pairs in the tournament.”

Aaron-Wooi Yik have also received a timely boost after being nominated as one of four pairs for the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) ‘Pair of the Year’ award.

The others are women’s pair Qingchen-Yifan and mixed doubles Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand and China’s Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong,

Rexy believes this will also motivate Aaron-Wooi Yik to do well at the World Tour Finals. The awards ceremony will be held in Bangkok on Dec 5.

Lee Zii Jia is the other Malaysian who has been nominated in the ‘Male Player of the Year’ category with Viktor Axelsen of Denmark and Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew.

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