Aaron-Wooi Yik finally break the jinx against world champions

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National men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik is certainly great guns in the USD700,000 Fuzhou Open – this time taking the scalp of reigning world and All-England champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia for a place in the last four.

Ranked No 14 in the world the Malaysians gunned down the Indonesian veterans in straight games with a 21-13, 22-20 win in only 25 minutes. Aaron-Wooi Yik will face Japan’s fourth seeds Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda, who ousted England’s Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge 21-10, 21-13.

It was a sweet win over Ahsan-Setiawan who had gone into the match with a 4-0 lead after winning all their four previous encounters. The most hurting was the defeat in this year’s All-England final when they allowed the Indonesians to come back from a one-game deficit for a 21-11, 14-21, 12-21 win.

However, at the Haixia Olympic Sports Center in Fuzhou, the Indonesians have found the Malaysians too hot to handle. The Malaysian fury began on Thursday when bundled out Indonesian fifth seeds and world No 5 Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto 13-21, 21-18, 21-18 in the second round.

Beating Fajar-Alfian was no mean feat as the Indonesians won the Korea Open apart from reaching the semi-finals in the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland in August.

However, the win over world No 2 Ahsan-Setiawa stands out for Aaron-Wooi Yik who has come criticism for their roller coaster ride in their badminton career. They remain as Malaysia’s best bet in the men’s doubles.

“We played our style. Our mental approach was different and this played a factor in our win over the world champions. Losing to them four times was heartbreaking. Hope we can ride on our win today and take our challenge further,” said a delighted Aaron.

There was more joy for Malaysia in Fuzhou when Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie upset Thai third seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-13, 21-18 to reach the semi-finals.

However, the Malaysians face a tough hurdle in the last four where they face China’s top seeds Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong. The Chinese stopped Korea’s fifth seeds Seo Seung Jae-Chae Yujung 21-14, 21-10.

Malaysia’s campaign in the women’s doubles ended with the defeat of Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean. They lost 15-21, 14-21 to Japan’s second seeds Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota. RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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