Aaron-Wooi Yik believe they’re on track for Olympics after reaching All-England final


Tough fight: Aaron Chia (right) and Soh Wooi Yik in action against Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian and Rian Ardianto in the men’s doubles final. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: Former world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik have vowed to use their inspiring run to the All-England final as fuel in their quest to excel in the Paris Olympics in July.

World No. 5 Aaron-Wooi Yik finished as the men’s doubles runners-up in Birmingham on Sunday after going down 16-21, 16-21 to Indonesia’s defending champions Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto in the final.

The hope was on them to end a 17-year wait for men’s doubles title but lack of sting in their game against a highly-charged Fajar-Rian saw them losing in their second attempt to come good. They also had lost in the final of the 2019 edition.

Despite the defeat, it was still an improved showing from Aaron-Wooi Yik this year as the duo’s previous best was a semi-final finish in the Indian Open in January.

The pair were also the only Malaysians to make it past the last eight in the prestigious tournament.

“Although we lost in the final, we are satisfied with our performance this whole week,” Aaron told the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

“We are slowly getting back our momentum again.

“It’s not the result that we wanted but reaching the final still gives us a boost and we are looking forward to our upcoming tournaments.”

It was their seventh final Open appearance and so far they have only came through once at the Denmark Open last year.

Aaron stressed that the pair’s main target after this will be the Olympics.

“We don’t have many competitions left before the Olympics and winning or losing is part of the process that we need to go through before we reach Paris.

“Our main target is the Olympics and we will keep improving, believe in ourselves and stay focused on our task ahead.”

Aaron-Wooi Yik will next take a short break from tournaments before turning their attentions to the Asian Championships from April 9-14 in Ningbao, China.

The pair have a good record in major tournaments after capturing the world title in 2022, bronze in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Hangzhou Asian Games last year.

Aaron-Wooi Yik remain Malaysia’s best bet for the elusive Olympics gold in Paris.

FINAL RESULTS

Men’s singles: Jonatan Christie (Ina) bt Anthony Ginting (Ina) 21-15, 21-14.

Men’s doubles: Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto (Ina) bt Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas) 21-16, 21-16.

Women’s singles: Carolina Marin (Spa) bt Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) 26-26, 11-1, ret.

Women’s doubles: Baek Ha-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) bt Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida (Jpn) 21-19, 11-21, 21-17.

Mixed doubles: Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) bt Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (Jpn) 21-16, 21-11.

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