Tokyo: Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik’s Olympic dream continues despite a straight-set defeat to World No. 2 Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan on Monday.
In the last Group D match which took place on Tuesday, Chia/Soh defeated Jason Ho-Shue/Nyl Yakura of Canada 21-15, 21-13. However, that still didn’t make them eligible for the quarters unless Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan beat South Koreans Choi Sol-Gyu/Seo Seung-Jae in another Group D match. Believe it or not, Choi/Seo had a 3-1 head-to-head record against Setiawan/Ahsan, and the Korean pair won two out of three meetings against the World No. 2 Indonesians in 2021.
Fortunately, Setiawan/Ahsan showed they were stronger mentally and tactically under pressure to see off Choi/Seo 21–12, 19–21, 21–18 to top the group while Chia/Soh finished second, and both progressed automatically into the knockout stages.
In a win or go home situation after loss to India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty in their first Group A match, World No. 3 Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin of Taiwan fought fiercely against World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo before winning 21-18, 15-21, 21-17. That victory put Lee/Wang in second place of Group A, while Gideon/Sukamuljo topped the group.
In all three encounters before Tuesday’s clash, the Indonesians had never conceded a single game against Lee/Wang.
So, why did Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy of India failed to qualify despite defeated Ben Lane/Sean Vendy of Great Britain 21-17, 21-19 to register their second win in Group A, same as Gideon/Sukamuljo and Lee/Wang?
The Indians missed out due to game differences. Even though Indonesians Sukamuljo/Gideon and Lee/Wang Chi-Lin also won two matches each but with a better game difference.
Look at the picture below, Sukamuljo/Gideon won a total of 5 games, but lost 2 games during the group stage; Lee/Wang won 5 games and lost 3; while Shetty/Rankireddy won 4 and lost 3 games.
Based on that calculation, Shetty/Rankireddy ranked third in Group A and were eliminated. Had the Indians stretched the Indonesians to three games on Monday, the equation would have come down to who won the maximum number of points.
On Tuesday night, Badminton World Federation (BWF) has published the quarter-finals draw below for the Olympic men’s doubles event, and Malaysia’s Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik were handed a tough task as they will meet Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in the last 8:
Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA) vs. Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik (MAS)
Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen (CHN) vs. Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (DEN)
Lee Yang/Wang Chi-lin (TPE) vs. Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe (JPN)
Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (JPN) vs. Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan (INA)