Aaron-Wooi Yik win Malaysia’s first ever badminton world title

By , in Nation Sports on .

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — Top men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik gave Malaysia a fitting National Day gift by winning the 2022 World Badminton Championships title in Tokyo today.

In the final at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Aaron-Wooi Yik scored an emphatic 21-19, 21-14 victory in 40 minutes over former three-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.

The win over the Indonesians, dubbed ‘The Daddies’, has made Aaron-Wooi Yik the first ever Malaysian shuttlers to be crowned world champions.

In their three previous outings at the world meet, world number six Aaron-Wooi Yik had only gone as far as the quarter-finals, at the 2018 edition in Nanjing, China.

aaron

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics bronze medallists were also the first Malaysian pair to enter the final in 12 years, after Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong did it in the 2010 edition in Paris.

“I have no words to describe what we’re feeling. Of course we are so happy to make ourselves proud, to make our country proud, as the first Malaysian world champions,” Aaron told Badminton World Federation (BWF) after the match.

He added: “Last year we won the bronze at the Olympics in Tokyo; this year we got the gold medal in Tokyo. So I think Tokyo is lucky for us.”

Aaron said the big difference in today’s clash against Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra was their focus on court as well as their mindset, as they were not bothered by the score regardless of whether they were leading or trailing.

“We know they are good on the first three shots, so we tried to change our game plan, tried to be more patient and use our own strengths,” he said.

Wooi Yik said: “We have partnered each other for four years and we have often lost in the finals and semi-finals, but now we’ve finally got the title. I have done a lot of work on my backcourt play. I’m a frontcourt player, but I wanted to be an all-round player too. This is the strategy we’ve been working on.”

For Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra, today’s defeat is their third straight loss to the Malaysian pair, after their clashes in the 2020 Olympic Games bronze medal playoff and Malaysia Open quarter-finals last June.

Aaron-Wooi Yik also have the distinction of ending the Indonesian pair’s unbeaten run of 19 matches in the world championships.

They have also ended the country’s 45-year wait for a Malaysian to lift the world title.

Since the inception of the world championships in 1977, Malaysians have made the finals nine times – five in men’s singles and four in men’s doubles.

Former great Datuk Lee Chong Wei played in the finals four times, in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015, followed by Wong Choong Hann (2003), Jalani-Razif Sidek (1987), Cheah Soon Kit-Soo Beng Kiang (1993), Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock (1997) and Kien Keat-Boon Heong (2010).

NMT as reported by Bernama

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