'Aaron-Wooi Yik must adapt strategies for Olympic glory' - Kien Keat

Top doubles pair urged to maintain momentum after All England loss

18 Mar 2024 03:39pm
Aaron Chia (left) dan Soh Wooi Yik. FILE PIX by Bernama
Aaron Chia (left) dan Soh Wooi Yik. FILE PIX by Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR - Although forced to bite their fingers after their defeat in the All England men's doubles final yesterday, the country's top pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik have been urged to maintain their momentum towards the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Despite the loss, former All England champion Koo Kien Keat praised the high spirits of Aaron-Wooi Yik, who performed quite well to reach their second All England final in five years at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham.

"I see their game pattern this time is different, besides having a strong desire as compared to the last few tournaments.

"They just need to maintain the momentum, confidence level and hunger to win, avoiding doubts between partners and in oneself. That is the most important thing now because there is not much time left before the 2024 Olympic Games," he told Bernama today.

In the final, Aaron-Wooi Yik had to acknowledge the prowess of Indonesia's Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto, who retained the All England crown for the second consecutive year with a 21-16, 21-16 win.

The runners-up finish means Aaron-Wooi Yik are still looking for their first title in the world's oldest badminton tournament, having lost to former three-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia 21-11, 14-21, 12-21 in the 2019 final.

However, the Birmingham result is their best so far this year as they only reached the quarter-finals of the Malaysian Open and French Open and the semi-finals of the Indian Open.

Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong were the last Malaysian pair to win the All England title when they defeated China's Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng 21-15, 21-18 in the 2007 final.

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Boon Heong admitted that Aaron-Wooi Yik's strategy backfired, as the 2022 world champions played to the tune of Fajar-Muhammad Rian in the 44-minute match.

He said the 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists should learn from their defeat at the hands of the tournament's seventh seeded pair so that they can redeem themselves in their next meeting.

He agreed with Kien Keat that Aaron-Wooi Yik performed well in Birmingham but luck was not on their side in the final of the Super 1000 tournament.

Boon Heong said they should take yesterday's disappointment as part of the learning process for them to put up a stronger challenge in the Paris Olympics, scheduled to be held from July 26 to Aug 11. - BERNAMA