Aaron-Soh must overcome final hurdle to make 2022 special


PETALING JAYA: It can be an extraordinary year for Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik if they can go all the way to win in the World Tour Finals in Bangkok.

But a wise Aaron has chosen to tread with caution.

Reigning world champions Aaron-Wooi Yik have a good chance to end the year with a double joy by nicking the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF)’s best pair of the year award and win at the Finals starting on Wednesday.

Aaron-Wooi Yik have been nominated for the award, which also include China’s Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (women’s doubles), Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (mixed doubles) and Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong.

While Aaron-Wooi Yik became Malaysia’s first ever world champions, the other pairs have also been exceptionally good in their respective fields by winning many titles consistently.

In the Finals too, Aaron-Wooi Yik will not have it easy as they will be facing regular strong foes.

The other qualifiers are Indonesians Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto, Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan; Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi; China’s Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi, Denmark’s Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi.

Aaron-Wooi Yik only made the top-eight cut as Indonesia had to drop their pair Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana, ranked eighth in the qualifying list. As a country can have a maximum of two pairs, Shohibul-Bagas were dropped, which allowed Aaron-Wooi Yik, who were ranked ninth, to get the call-up.

Aaron said the standard of the top eight pairs were the same.

“It is not a surprise line-up. These are the regular faces. It can go either way with any of them,” said Aaron.

“Wooi Yik and I are leaving for Bangkok tomorrow (today). We have done our preparation.”

Whether Aaron-Wooi Yik win or lose in Bangkok, it has already been a great year for the duo after ending the country’s long wait for the world title. They did well to reach the semi-finals in the Denmark Open after the world meet triumph but bowed out in the first round at the proceeding French Open.

It will be the icing on the cake if they return home from Bangkok with another world title.

FINAL QUALIFIERS

Men’s singles: 1. Viktor Axelsen (Den), 2. Chou Tienchen (Tpe), 3. H.S. Prannoy (Ind), 4. Jonatan Christie (Ina), 5. Kodai Naraoka (Jpn), 6. Lu Guangzu (Chn), 7. Anthony Ginting (Ina), 8. Loh Kean Yew (Sin).

Men’s doubles: 1. Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto (Ina), 2. Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina), 3. Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Mas), 4. Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi (Chn), 5. Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den), 6. Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Jpn), 8. Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas).

Women’s singles: 1. Chen Yufei (Chn), 2. Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe), 3. He Bingjiao (Chn), 4. An Se-young (Kor), 5. Ratchanok Intanon (Tha), 6. Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha), 7. Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn), 8. Gregoria Mariska (Ina).

Women’s doubles: 1. Jeong Na-eun-Kim Hye-jeong (Kor), 2. Zhang Shuxian-Zheng Yu (Chn), 3. Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard (Tha), 4. Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn), 5. Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha), 6. Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien (Mas), 7. Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (Mas), 8. Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia (Ina).

Mixed doubles: 1. Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn), 2. Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha), 3. Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (Chn), 4. Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie (Mas), 5. Tan Kian MengLai Pei Jing (Mas), 6. Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas (Ina), 7. Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue (Fra), 8. Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran (Tha).

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