Aaron-Wooi Yik hope to maintain winning momentum at BWF Finals

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BANGKOK – Reigning men’s doubles world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik hope to maintain their winning momentum in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Finals in Bangkok.

Aaron-Wooi Yik will be facing regular strong foes where the pair have been drawn in Group B with world number six Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia), world number five Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Denmark) and Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi (China).

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The world’s number four seeds Aaron-Wooi Yik said they are well prepared for the world tour final which will be held at the Nimibutr Arena in Bangkok from Wednesday to Sunday and hope to end the year on a high note.

However, Aaron admitted the men’s doubles category has always been tough and competitive.

“It is no walk in the park. We will stay calm and do our best as this is the last tournament of the year,” he told Bernama after the draw ceremony held in Bangkok, on Monday night.

Wooi Yik hoped they would be able to maintain their performance at every match in the season-ending tournament.

“It is not an easy task for us as most of the top pairs are competing. We will fight hard. We want the best result to end 2022,” he said. The pair failed in the group stage of the World Tour final in 2019 and 2020.

Independent men’s doubles pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi are Group A with defending champion and world number one Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Japan), world number three Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto (Indonesia) and Choi Sol-gyu-Kim Won-ho (South Korea).

Meanwhile, French Open women’s doubles champion Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah are expecting tough matches in the World Tour final as they have been drawn in Group B with world number one pair Chen Qing Chen-Jia Yi Fan and world number seven Zhang Shuxian-Zheng Yu of China as well as Indonesia’s Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti.

Without setting any target in this World Tour final, Thinaah promised the pair will give their best performance in every game.

In women’s doubles Group B, independent shuttlers Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien have been drawn in Group A with two Thai pairs – Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard and Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai – and South Korea’s Jeong Na Eun-Kim Hye Jeong.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s mixed doubles pair and world number 11, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie hope to make it into the top four in this tournament.

“We are physically and mentally prepared. Now, it depends on how we perform in court. We hope to make a breakthrough in our game and overcome our opponent more convincingly in this tournament,” Shevon said. 

Soon Huat-Shevon are in Group A with world number three, Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong (China), world number 10, Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue (France) and world number 13 Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas Mentari (Indonesia).

Another independent pair, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing are expecting a tough battle in the World Tour final as the duo have been handed a tough draw in Group B with world number one and defending champion Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Thailand), world number four and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gold medalists Wang Yi Lyu-Huang Dong Ping (China), Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran (Thailand).

Meanwhile, in the men’s singles category, world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, Prannoy HS of India, Kodai Naraoka of Japan and Lu Guang Zu of China are in Group A while world number four, Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, Jonatan Christie (Indonesia), Loh Kean Yew (Singapore) and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (Indonesia) are in Group B.

Malaysia does not have any singles representatives, including men’s professional ace Lee Zii Jia who misses badminton’s season-ending world tour.

In the women’s singles, world number two An Se Young of South Korea is looking forward to defending the World Tour title when taking on world number one Akane Yamaguchi (Japan), (Korea) world number four Chen Yu Fei (China) and Gregoria Mariska Tunjung (Indonesia) in Group A.

In Group B, Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying has been drawn together with He Bing Jiao (China), Ratchanok Intanon and Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand.

A total of 24 qualifying tournaments were held worldwide, with only the top-eight players and pairs qualifying for the World Tour finals, with a maximum of two players or pairs per Member Association being eligible. The current world champions gain automatic entry.

Players will be competing for a total prize pool of US$1.5 million. – Bernama