Badminton: Aaron demonstrates captaincy by staying cool under pressure
PETALING JAYA: Appointing Aaron Chia as skipper for the Thomas Cup team seems like the right decision.
The men’s national doubles shuttle teamed with Soh Wooi Yik to show nerves of steel to advance to the second round of the Asian Championships after beating China’s He Jiting-Zhao Haodong 18-21, 21-12, 21-21 in a 48-minute first round :18 had defeated game yesterday.
Aaron-Wooi Yik showed great fighting spirit at Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Manila to turn the tide after losing the first game.
The world No. 9 pair will definitely need more of the same as they take the team to the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok on May 8-15.
For now, Aaron chooses to focus solely on the task at hand.
“We don’t want to talk too much about this win. We just hope that we can keep that momentum throughout the tournament,” he said.
Aaron-Wooi Yik next meets Singapore’s Danny Chrisnanta-Andy Kwek for a spot in the Quarterfinals.
Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun also made it to the second round.
Sze Fei-Izzuddin beat home side Soloman Padiz-Julius Villabrille 21-9, 21-14 while Wei Chong-Kai Wun had to work harder to defeat Thailand’s Weeraphat Phakjarung-Wongsathorn Thongkham.
Sze Fei-Izzuddin next meets South Korean Kang Min-hyuk-Kim Won-ho, while Wei Chong-Kai Wun will most likely face another Korean pair, Choi Sol-gyu-Seo Seung-jae.
Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See, ranked No. 23 in the world mixed doubles, continued their miserable form as they suffered a surprise first-round loss to unheralded Chinese duo Feng Yanzhe-Lin Fangling.
The Malaysian duo, who are yet to reach the quarterfinals this year, were narrowly beaten 23:21, 12:21, 20:22 in 59 minutes.
Pang Ron-Yee See’s form is a concern ahead of the May 12-23 SEA Games in Vietnam.
However, Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei, another pair set to travel to the biannual games, had little trouble beating home pair Soloman Padiz-Eleanor Inlayo 21-10, 21-16.
They have a difficult task next when they face China’s reigning Olympic champion Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping.
In other matches, Korean Open champion Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing defeated South Korean Kim Won-ho-Jeong Na-eun 19-21, 21-8, 21-11.
Another independent pair, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie, swept aside Bahaedeen Alshannik-Domou Amro of Jordan 21-9, 21-9.
Kian Meng-Pei Jing should have little trouble next against India’s Ishaan Bhatnagar-Tanisha Crasto, while Soon Huat-Shevon will have a more difficult clash against Japan’s Yuki Kaneko-Misaki Matsutomo.
In the women’s competition, two of Malaysia’s up-and-coming players missed out on qualifying after suffering disappointing defeats in their second qualifying group stage.
Recent Dutch International Champion Myisha Khairul was edged out in Group D by Komang Dewi of Indonesia 18:21, 9:21.
In Group C, SEA Games’ Siti Nurshuhaini also found a tough nut to crack against Korea’s Seo Jin-lee, knocking out 13:21, 17:21.
However, Tan Zhing Yi made it to the actual tournament after Thailand’s Supanida Katethong withdrew from the tournament, allowing both the Malaysian and Hong Kong’s Yeung Sum Yee to advance to the first round without having to play each other.