Malaysia’s dream to win the World Badminton Championships title finally came true yesterday after top men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik won the 2022 title in Tokyo. It’s a huge victory for Malaysia that comes just in time for the upcoming 65th Independence Day on August 31.
In the final at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Aaron-Wooi Yik scored an emphatic 21-19, 21-14 victory in 40 minutes over former three-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.
Aaron-Wooi Yik became the first Malaysian shuttlers to ever be named world champions thanks to their victory over the Indonesian team known as “The Daddies” in the tournament.
In their three previous outings at the world meet, world number six Aaron-Wooi Yik had only gone as far as the quarter-finals, which they did during the 2018 edition in Nanjing, China.
The bronze medalists from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were also the first Malaysian pair to compete in the final in 12 years, following the team of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong who made it to the last round of the 2010 competition in Paris.
“I have no words to describe what we’re feeling. Of course we are so happy to make ourselves proud, to make our country proud, as the first Malaysian world champions,” Aaron told the Badminton World Federation (BWF) after the match.
“Last year we won the bronze at the Olympics in Tokyo; this year we got the gold medal in Tokyo. So I think Tokyo is lucky for us.”
Aaron said the big difference in today’s clash against Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra was their focus on the court as well as their mindset, as they were not bothered by the score regardless of whether they were leading or trailing.
“We know they are good on the first three shots, so we tried to change our game plan, tried to be more patient and use our own strengths,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wooi Yik said: “We have partnered each other for four years and we have often lost in the finals and semi-finals, but now we’ve finally got the title. I have done a lot of work on my backcourt play. I’m a frontcourt player, but I wanted to be an all-round player too. This is the strategy we’ve been working on.”
After their matches in the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open in June and the playoff for the bronze medal at the 2020 Olympic Games, Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra have now lost three consecutive matches to the Malaysian pair.
Additionally, Aaron-Wooi Yik made history by snapping the Indonesian duo’s 19-match winning streak during the world championships.
They also put an end to Malaysia’s 45-year wait for a win at the world championship.
Malaysia has advanced to the finals nine times since the world championships’ debut in 1977—five times in men’s singles and four times in men’s doubles.
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