Aaron: President’s Cup more than just an exhibition match

PETALING JAYA: Doubles ace Aaron Chia has called on his teammates to take the President’s Cup seriously although it could end up just being an exhibition match.

The two-day internal team competition, which begins tomorrow at the Academy Badminton Malaysia, is supposed to serve as the simulation event for the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark from Oct 3-11.

But the premier badminton tournament will most likely be postponed to next year after five nations pulled out including powerhouses Indonesia and South Korea due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But as far as the 23-year-old Aaron is concerned, he just loves team event and has vowed to play like it is an official tournament.

“Whether we’re going to Aarhus or not, I think all of us should treasure this opportunity. It still matters and is meaningful, ” said Aaron.

“It’s a great effort by the BAM to put up a second internal tournament for us after last month’s invitational meet.

“If the Finals is on, then it will do us a whole world of good in terms of preparations. If not, I’m sure all of us will still enjoy it as it gets the competitive juices flowing.

“I’m a big fan of team event. I always love the excitement of team competitions as it brings out the best in me. And we also don’t get to play it all the time… I think I have played not more than 10 times since joining BAM.”

Aaron and partner Soh Wooi Yik are in Team B. Their teammates are Liew Daren, Cheam June Wei, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin and doubles pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani.

Team A consists of Lee Zii Jia, Leong Jun Hao, Ng Tze Yong and two independent pairs Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi.

World No. 10 Zii Jia-led side looks stronger on paper as it also features Tze Yong and Jun Hao, the winner and runner-up of the BAM Invitational Championships.

But Aaron begs to differ.

“I don’t think there’s a team stronger than the other, ” said Aaron. “With Daren and Cheam, I think our singles are pretty solid. As for the doubles, it’s always 50-50, it’s just a matter of who will rise to the occasion.

“Expect a good match because both teams will be out to claim bragging rights!”

The tournament starts with the Uber Cup tomorrow followed by the Thomas Cup on Thursday.