Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik will intensify their training sessions a week before departing to Tokyo for the upcoming Olympics as they prepare to do battle in a challenging Group D of the men’s doubles.
Chia-Soh were drawn against world number two Indonesians Hendra Setiawan-Mohammad Ahsan, South Korea’s top pair Choi Sol-gyu-Seo Seung-jae and Canadians Jason Anthony Ho-Shue/Nyl Yakura.
On paper, it looks like a three-way battle between the Malaysians and their Indonesian and South Korean opponents to finish as the top two pairs to progress to the quarter-finals.
“I think the draw is okay, there is a chance for us to progress. Against the South Korean pair, our head-to-head is two wins each, so it’s a 50-50 chance. We have not played the Canadians yet.
“What is certain is we are not taking anything for granted. We plan to push ourselves to the limit this week before leaving for Tokyo, as we will not have sparring partners over there.
“Our preparations will be towards video analysis of our opponents and discussions with our coach,” said Chia.
The world number pair already faced both Hendra-Ahsan and Choi-Seo this year.
They beat the South Koreans in straight games at the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals in January before losing to the Indonesians in the round-robin of the same tournament.
Chia-Soh did not have a good record against Hendra-Ahsan, only beating them once in seven occasions back in 2019.
But Chia is not too perturbed about past records, especially at the Olympics.
“Anything can happen at the Olympics. We have to be mentally strong and prepared, but as our coach said, not be too eager to win points and make mistakes. This will be our motivation against the top pairs.
“As for the absence of supporters, it is not a problem. We are used to it, having played in Thailand this year without the fans. It will not affect our game,” he added.
Chia-Soh’s performances were decent this year, making the final of the Thailand Open 2 and the semis of the Swiss Open.
Another draw will be made for the top eight pairs upon the conclusion of the group matches at the Olympics.
It was confirmed on Thursday that no fans will grace the Olympics in Tokyo after a rise in Covid-19 cases in Japan’s capital.