TOKYO: The bronze medal success of national men’s pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics yesterday is their biggest achievement since they paired up in 2015.
Heading into the world’s biggest multi-sport Games, not many had given them much of a chance but they proved everyone wrong by bagging the country’s first medal in Tokyo.
Aaron-Wooi Yik bounced back from a first game defeat to capture bronze by outlasting Indonesian second seeds Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 17-21, 21-17, 21-14 in a suspenseful 52-minute clash.
The world No 9 duo had earlier created a major upset when they scored their first ever win over world No 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, also of Indonesia, in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Prior to their moment of glory in Tokyo, Aaron-Wooi Yik’s best achievement was winning the gold medal at the 2019 SEA Games in Manila.
They also finished as All England runners-up that year after losing to Ahsan-Hendra in the final.
The pair, former Bukit Jalil Sports School students who first featured in the Under-19 Junior International Championships in Malaysia in 2015, were then split up before they were reunited as seniors at the 2017 Malaysia International Challenge.
Melaka shuttler Aaron, 24, started representing the country in 2014 at the Indonesia International Series with Guo Zheng Sim after taking up badminton at seven years old.
Apart from Wooi Yik and Zheng Sim, Aaron had also been paired up with the likes of Goh Sze Fei, Tan Jinn Hwa and Idham Zainal Abidin Syazmil.
Wooi Yik, who started playing at the age of six, featured in the men’s singles at junior level when he competed at the 2012 Smiling Fish International Series in Thailand.
The Kuala Lumpur-born shuttler was once paired with current national singles No 1 Lee Zii Jia at the Under-15 and Under-17 Junior Asian Badminton Championships in China in 2012.
Wooi Yik also played mixed doubles with Anna Cheong in 2015 and with M Thinaah a year later.