Aaron-Wooi Yik admit they need to break South Koreans’ stranglehold for Olympics glory


Running out of steam: Aaron Chia (back) and Soh Wooi Yik went down 19-21, 16-21 to South Korea’s Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae.

PETALING JAYA: Men’s doubles shuttlers Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik believe that they have hard work ahead of them if they are to realise their dream of ending Malaysia’s elusive wait for gold in the Paris Olympics in July.

Yesterday, world No. 5 Aaron-Wooi Yik went down 19-21, 16-21 to South Korea’s reigning world champions Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae in the quarter-finals of the French Open which was held as the same venue as the Olympics at the Adidas Arena in Paris.

In an exciting battle, the former were neck-and-neck with the latter in the first game before the Korean world No. 2 pair stayed composed at 19-19 to snatch the last two points for the win.

In the second game, Aaron-Wooi Yik led 11-8 but their tenacious opponents refused to give in and and closed the gap swiftly at 13-13.

Min-hyuk-Seung-jae then did not look back from there and went on to wrap up the impressive victory.

It was Aaron-Wooi Yik’s second consecutive defeat to the Koreans this year after losing to the latter in the same stage in the Malaysian Open in January.

Wooi Yik acknowledged that he and Aaron had to find a way to overcome the Koreans soon.

“We have given our best and there’s still a lot for us to learn ahead of the Olympics,” said Wooi Yik in a post match interview with the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

“We need to figure out a way to win against the Koreans. We have some catching up to do with the pairs above us in the world rankings.

“It’s crucial for us to analyse those opponents and I hope we can come up with what we have to do (to do well in the Olympics) in these next few months.”

The other pairs currently above Aaron-Wooi Yik in the rankings are India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty (No. 1), China’s Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang (No. 3) and Denmark’s Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmus–sen.

With Aaron-Wooi Yik’s defeat, Malaysia’s challenge in the tournament is over.

A day earlier, another pair Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun had lost out 13-21, 12-21 to Satwiksairaj-Chirag in the second round.

As for Min-hyuk-Seung-jae, they will take on either the Indians or Thailand’s Supak Jomkoh-Kittinupong Kedren for a place in the final.

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