PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s wait for a first medal at the Tokyo Olympics has finally ended after shuttlers Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik delivered a bronze in the men’s doubles competition.
Aaron-Wooi Yik upset the formbooks by beating reigning world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 17-21, 21-17, 21-14 in a pulsating 50-minute battle to prevent Malaysia from ending their Olympics campaign without a medal for the first time since Athens 2004.
It was a sweet revenge as they had lost to the Indonesians in the group stage earlier. It was only their second win in eight meetings against the experienced opponents.
And they broke down after winning badminton’s only medal in Tokyo at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza.
“The hope was on us to deliver the medal after all others lost and we did it,” said an emotional Aaron.
With the bronze won on Saturday, debutants Aaron-Wooi Yik are now only the sixth Malaysian medal winners in badminton as they join the illustrious list of players including Razif Sidek-Jalani Sidek (Barcelona 1992-bronze), Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock (Atlanta 1996-silver), Rashid Sidek (Atlanta 1996-bronze), Lee Chong Wei (Beijing 2008-silver, London 2012-silver, Rio 2016-silver), Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Rio 2016-silver) and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Rio 2016-silver).
Quarter-finals: Kevin Cordon (Gua) bt Heo Kwang-hee (Kor) 21-13, 21-18; Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Shi Yuqi (Chn) 21-13, 21-13; Anthony Ginting (Ina) bt Anders Antonsen (Den) 21-18, 21-15, 21-18; Chen Long (Chn) bt Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) 21-14, 9-21, 21-14.
Bronze medal playoff: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas) bt Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) 17-21, 21-17, 21-14.
Semi-finals: Chen Yufei (Chn) bt He Bingjiao (Chn) 21-16, 13-21, 21-12; Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe) bt P.V. Sindhu (Ind) 21-18, 21-12.
Semi-finals: Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu (Ina) bt Lee So-hee-Shin Sheung-chan (Kor) 21-19, 21-17; Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn) bt Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong (Kor) 21-15, 21-11.