Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik facts

Malaysia is known for its excellence in badminton, thanks to Datuk Lee Chong Wei and the legends before him who have made us proud by winning multiple world titles and medals in international games.

Since they have retired from sports, we are now rooting for upcoming athletes such as Lee Zii Jia and men’s doubles players Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in Malaysia’s quest for its first gold medal at the Olympics.

Here’s a list of 8 facts about rising stars Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik that every Malaysian should know as they have recently qualified for the semi-finals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

1. They started playing together for Malaysia since 2015

Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik
Image credit: 100PLUS Malaysia

Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik started representing Malaysia internationally as a pair in 2015 when they were partnered together in November that year for the 2016 World Junior Championships.

Chia became a part of the national badminton team in 2015 after his international debut in 2014 in the Indonesia International Series. Soh’s international debut was earlier than Chia, when he participated in the 2012 Smiling Fish International Series. However, he was only recruited into the national team in 2017.

Prior to that, he was a part of the Malaysian BWF World Junior Championships team in 2015 and 2016.

2. They are ranked in the top 10 for men’s doubles globally

Malaysian badminton players
Image credit: @sohwooiyik

Chia and Soh currently rank 9th in the world for badminton men’s doubles with 65,228 cumulative points from a total of 28 matches.

What’s even more interesting about this is that as of now, they are the only men’s doubles pair from Malaysia in the top 10. They are also 29th in the men’s doubles world tour ranking.

So far, out of the 134 matches that they have played, they have won a total of 82 and lost 52. 

3. They won their first and only gold medal in badminton at the SEA Games

Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik at the Olympics
Image credit: @sohwooiyik

Although they rank top 10 in the world, they won their first and only gold medal at the 2019 SEA Games held in the Philippines.

In the finals, they played against Thailand’s Bodin Isara and Maneepong Jongjit. They lost the first set of the game by three points, scoring 18–21, but they did not hold back. They continued to deliver the best game and conquered the next two sets with scores of 21–15 and 21–16.

4. They beat world no. 1 pair Gideon-Sukamuljo at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik after winning a match
Image credit: @aaronchiatengfong

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is Chia and Soh’s first Olympic games and they are playing really well. For the first time in their eight attempts against Indonesia’s Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Chia and Soh clinched a historic win.

They stormed into the semi-finals by defeating the world no.1 men’s doubles players from Indonesia in straight sets in the quarter-finals match with scores of 21-14 and 21-17. In the semi-finals, they will be playing against China’s Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen.

5. Aaron Chia is from Malacca and Soh Wooi Yik is from KL

Aaron Chia with his family
Image credit: @aaronchiatengfong

Chia and Soh are still young and they should have a couple more Olympics to play before they retire. Chia’s full name is Aaron Chia Teng Fong. The 24-year-old Malaccan is already married and has two adorable kids. He started playing badminton at the age of seven.

Meanwhile, Soh is from Kuala Lumpur and is 23 this year. He started playing as early as four years old. He became a professional badminton player at the age of six.

6. They are both right-handed and can speak up to 4 languages

Malaysian men's doubles badminton players
Image credit: Cathay Enterprise

The unifying factor for Chia and Soh in badminton has to be the fact that they both are right-handed. Soh’s 185 cm height and Chia athletic physique give the pair the perfect advantage of powerful smashes and great endurance during competitions.

Another similarity between the two is that both of them can speak four languages – English, Malay, Mandarin and Cantonese.

7. Soh Wooi Yik comes from a family of legendary badminton players

Soh Wooi Yik's family
Image credit: @sohwooiyik

Perhaps the most astounding revelation about Soh is his historic family background. His father Soh Goon Chup and his uncle Soo Beng Kiang are former badminton players. His father played for the national team in the 70s.

His uncle Soo was an Olympian and he had partnered with the legendary Datuk Cheah Soon Kit to help Malaysia win the Thomas Cup in 1992. This explains why Soh started playing badminton so early in life and became a professional when he was just 6 years old!

8. They have been finishing 2nd in most of their previous matches

Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik with coaches
Image credit: @sohwooiyik

Chia and Soh have finished in second place in most of the international competitions they have participated in. They have won multiple silver medals and second place in tournaments.

Some of the competitions are the BWF SaarLorLux Open in 2018 against Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge from England, the 2018 Malaysia International and the 2019 All England Open against Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan from Indonesia.

They have also played against Maneepong Jongjit and Nanthakarn Yordphaisong from Thailand in the 2018 Vietnam International, finishing at second place.

Badminton men’s doubles players Aaron Chia & Soh Wooi Yik

It’s great to see that Malaysia is continuing its legacy in badminton with the next generation of players such as Chia and Soh, both of whom have come a long way in the sport with their hard work and dedication. We wish them all the best for their upcoming matches at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Hopefully, they will make it to the finals and bring home Malaysia’s first-ever gold medal.

Read more inspiring stories about Malaysia athletes:

Cover image adapted from: @aaronchiatengfong and @sohwooiyik

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