Tokyo 2020: Aaron-Wooi Yik show nerves of steel for winning start

Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (File pic)
24/07/2021 08:29 PM

TOKYO July 24 -- National men’s doubles shuttlers Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik showed nerves of steel to stun world number seven Choi Solgyu-Seo Seungjae of South Korea 24-22, 21-15 at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, here today.

The world number nine Malaysians needed 43 minutes to tame the South Koreans in their Group D match to boost their chances of advancing to the knockout stage.

The 2019 SEA Games champions had to dig deep into their reserves in the tightly-contested first game, which saw both pairs fight neck-and-neck until the score was tied at 20-20.

The Malaysians, thankfully, kept their cool to win 24-22.

The battle was just as intense at the start of the second game before Aaron-Wooi Yik managed to find an extra gear to romp to a 21-15 win, thanks partly to mistakes on the part of the South Koreans.

The Malaysians have now beaten the South Koreans three times in five meetings.

Earlier, in another Group D match, world number two Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia needed just 25 minutes to cruise past Canada’s Jason Ho-Shue-Nyl Yakura 21-12, 21-11.

Aaron-Wooi Yik face a daunting task as they will be up against the Indonesians on Monday (July 26), before concluding their group fixture against the Canadians on Tuesday (July 27).

Only the top two pairs from each group will advance to the quarter-finals. 

Meanwhile, 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallists Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying have made life difficult for themselves in Group D after going down fighting 18-21, 21-10, 16-21 to Hong Kong’s Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet in a match that lasted an hour.

After losing the first game, the world number seven found an extra spring in their steps and sizzled with a fast and aggressive display to extend the match into a decider.

However, in the nail-biting decider, the 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallists found themselves outwitted by Chun Man-Ying Suet, who have now beaten the Malaysians five times in a row.

Peng Soon-Liu Ying have only beaten Chun Man-Ying Suet once in six meetings - in their first clash at the 2016 Chinese Taipei Open - while their most significant defeat was in the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Championships.

Peng Soon-Liu Ying will face Germany’s Marks Lamfuss-Isabel Herttrich on Sunday (July 25) before wrapping up their group fixtures with a daunting task against world number two Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping of China on Monday.