Strategy paid off for Aaron-Wooi Yik against the ‘Daddies’, says coach Rexy

KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky (pic) says his strategy for men’s doubles shuttlers Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik had worked in delivering the country’s first-ever World Championship title.

He said knowing that it was not easy to defeat the “Daddies”, as Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan are known, he had advised his charges to opt for longer rallies and not to rush in receiving the returns.

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“We could see how good Ahsan-Hendra played from the first round to the semi-finals, they even dominated the first set today.

“I told Aaron-Wooi Yik that, in terms of speed, they’re better and can challenge Ahsan-Hendra, but they need to build self-confidence,” he said in a post-match interview with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Sunday (Aug 28).

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The world number six pair’s 21-19, 21-14 victory against three-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia was not only their maiden international title, but it also ended Malaysia’s 45-year wait for the elusive World Championship crown, just days ahead of the National Day celebrations on Aug 31st.

Rexy said since returning to the BAM as Deputy Coaching Director last October, he had focused more on setting a winning mindset and building confidence in Aaron-Wooi Yik.

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“If we talk about their level, we don’t talk much about the skills and techniques, there’s nothing much to change over there. Only the things like how they believe when playing against top-class players, thoughts like ‘with my skills, I can compete against anyone’.

“Then try to reduce their unforced errors and negative thoughts. Just all these things I needed to improve (in them)…So when all these things connect, the skills come out,” he added.

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Commenting on the criticism faced by the shuttlers for having the jinx of failing in the semi-finals, Rexy said such criticism should only serve to build a stronger mentality for the athletes.

Asked about his feelings when his charges bagged the world title, Rexy said he felt excited, like a “bedridden and sick person suddenly got cured, and was able to run again”.

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“They’re the first Malaysians to win the title, so thanks to them. I keep telling them, just play for yourself and your parents, and in Aaron’s case – his wife and kids. When you’ve done that, and then this is for the country, because everyone will celebrate that.

“I am very proud of that, and to be honest, I have to say thanks to God, because for the whole week I have been praying to God, asking his blessings for the players to deliver the first title for Malaysia,” he said. – Bernama