Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik’s Olympic Rankings Affected by The Postponement of Malaysia Open

Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik hope to improve their Race to Tokyo rankings. (photo: BWF)
Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik hope to improve their Race to Tokyo rankings. (photo: BWF)

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s World No. 9 men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia admitted that the postponement of the Malaysia Open has affected him and his partner, Soh Wooi Yik, of becoming a seeded pair in the Tokyo Olympics.

Chia/Soh were ranked No. 9 in the BWF Race to Tokyo rankings, and they have to be in the top eight to become a seeded pair.

“When the Malaysia Open was postponed, it affected us a little because we were still competing to be in the top eight so that we could become a seeded pair in the Olympics,” said Chia.

Chia/Soh were almost certain to be the only Malaysian men’s doubles pair to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as the Rio Olympic silver medalists Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong were ranked World No. 14 and Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi were ranked World No. 16 currently. A country could send a maximum of two pairs in the Olympic doubles event if both pairs were ranked top eight in the Olympic qualifying rankings. With only one Olympic qualifier left – the Singapore Open, which will be held from June 1 to June 6, it’s impossible for both the World No. 14 and No. 16 pairs to earn enough points to make it to the top eight of the Race to Tokyo rankings.

Chia/Soh were able to advance to the semi-finals of the Swiss Open in March, before losing to Mark Lamsfuss/Marvin Seidel of Germany 13-21, 21-13, 16-21. They however decided not to participate at the All England which took place after the Swiss Open.

On Friday, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) announced that the Malaysia Open which scheduled to take place from May 25 to May 30 has been postponed after taking into account the safety of players and officials due to surge in COVID-19 cases in Malaysia.

Chia hoped that he and Soh could do well in the Singapore Open so that they could rise to the top eight rankings before the Race to Tokyo standings close on June 15.

“I hope the Singapore Open will not be postponed again. Before the Olympics we need to play in at least one or two tournaments to get ready and to assess our performance,” explained Chia.

The Tokyo Games will open on 23 July 2021 and close on 8 August.


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