KUALA LUMPUR – The question in the minds of local badminton pundits now is where would Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik go from here after ending their title drought yesterday.
Aaron-Wooi Yik’s achievement in ending the 45-year wait for local badminton fans is seen as a starting point for them to make a name for themselves in the world arena.
The sensational pair toppled three-time world champions, Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in straight sets, 21-19, 21-14 in the final of the 2022 BWF World Championships at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan, yesterday.
National badminton legend, Datuk Razif Sidek believed the historic conquest of Aaron-Wooi Yik will further strengthen their mental resilience to bring their game to a higher level in their challenges after this.
“it is hope the success will inspire them to make a name for themselves in the world stage including the 2024 Paris Olympics,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
In winning the world championship, Aaron-Wooi Yik also captured their first title yesterday and Razif is optimistic that the duo ranked sixth in the world would go on to hunt for more titles after this.
In this regard, Razif, who emerged 1987 world championship runners-up with Datuk Seri Jalani Sidek, praised the solid defence exhibited by Aaron-Wooi Yik which stunned Ahsan-Setiawan.
“There is so much grit in their game, and I thought it was a bold move by them to change their attacking style to a defensive approach which frustrated the Indonesian players,” he said.
At the same time, Razif also described the return of Rexy Mainaky, the doubles coach from Indonesia to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in December as a key factor in the rise of Aaron-Wooi Yik as the new world champions.
He said it was clear BAM’s appointment of Rexy as the doubles coaching director proved the 54-year-old coach has the formula to bring national doubles players to a higher level.
Since the world championship competed in 1977, nine national players have entered the five men’s singles finals and four men’s doubles finals.
Former national champion, Datuk Lee Chong Wei made the most appearances in four finals in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 followed by Wong Choong Hann (2003) apart from Cheah Soon Kit-Soo Beng Kiang (1993), Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock (1997) and Kien Keat-Boon Heong in 2010. – Bernama / pic credit: BAM