Aaron-Wooi Yik slam 'strange' All England draw

KUALA LUMPUR: Men's doubles Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are always ready to face any opponent in their quest for glory, but the draw of the All England next month has raised some doubts.

The former world champions are unhappy that they will have to face compatriots Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin Rumsani in the opening round in Birmingham.

Adding to their frustration is the fact that they are also slated to face Sze Fei-Izzuddin in the second round of the French Open a week earlier in Paris.

Speaking to Timesport on Wednesday, a day after the draw was published, Aaron said: "I don't know what to say because it's strange that we always have to face our compatriots so early on.

"It's not only that, but it seems like Malaysian pairs are always grouped in the same half of the draw, especially when we play in European tournaments.

"Perhaps this is something that the Badminton World Federation should look into."

Aaron's displeasure is understandable because in both the 2021 and 2022 All England editions, at least three Malaysian pairs were in the same half of the draw.

The other Malaysian pair in the top half of the All England draw this year is Ong Yew Sin-Teo Eei Yi, who will take on China's Liu Yu Chen-Ou Xuan Yi in the opening round.

Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun are the only Malaysian pair in the bottom half of the draw. They will open their campaign against Japan's Akira Koga-Taichi Saito.

For the record, no Malaysian doubles pairs have clinched the All England title since Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in 2007.

Separately, Aaron wants to clear the air about certain comments he made recently, which he believes got lost in translation.

"I believe some of my comments about our training programme got misunderstood.

"At the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC), I spoke about the secret training Wooi Yik and I were undergoing.

"I want to clarify that there is no secret weapon. What I really meant was I'd like to keep our training programme a secret."

Aaron also said there might be a special training camp for him and Wooi Yik ahead of the Paris Olympics, but nothing has been confirmed so far.

"For now, we are still based at the ABM," he said.

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