Proud father recalls Aaron Chia’s sacrifices after bronze medal win at Tokyo Olympics

Aaron Chia of Malaysia in action as Soh Wooi Yik looks on during the match against Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Tokyo July 29, 2021. — Reuters pic
Aaron Chia of Malaysia in action as Soh Wooi Yik looks on during the match against Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Tokyo July 29, 2021. — Reuters pic

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MELAKA, Aug 1 — Malaysian badminton star Aaron Chia’s path to the Olympics actually began at the age of four when he often followed his father Chia Boon Foo to the badminton court, thus sparking interest in the sport so much so he started representing Melaka when he was just 11 years old.

In fact, on the badminton court, the second of three siblings, who is now 24, learned the meaning of perseverance in facing every tournament and opponent without fear and never giving up.

Chia, 62, explained that this included the first time that his son was disappointed because he failed to be selected to enter the Bukit Jalil Sports School (SSBJ) but he advised him to not to give up and continue to strive to show his best.

“Finally at the age of 14 he managed to enter SSBJ and during Form 5, Aaron started training with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

“For the past four years, Aaron has been very focused and busy with training and has a very busy schedule. His perseverance and sacrifices have paid off and we hope they (Aaron and his doubles partner) continue to achieve success in upcoming tournaments,” he said in an interview with the media via the Zoom application hosted by Kota Melaka Member of Parliament Khoo PoayTiong here today. 

Recalling watching the match “live” on television with his wife, Chan Mee Kee, 62 and several other family members, Chia admitted that he could not hold back tears and shouted with joy at the success carved by them to deliver Malaysia’s first medal, a bronze, at the Tokyo Olympics.

“We were very anxious as the match was tense and realised it wouldn’t be easy but we really believed in their ability.

“More special, it is their first appearance in the prestigious games and this success is very meaningful because it not only brings glory to the country but also unites Malaysians who gave unwavering support,” he said.

To be even more proud of, yesterday’s victory also saw Aaron and teammate Soh Wooi Yik, 23, succeed in redeeming their defeat to world number two pair Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan in the group stage competition.

In yesterday’s bronze medal match, Aaron-Wooi Yik, who had gone down 17-21 in the first set, bounced back in the next and went on to beat the Indonesian pair 21-17, 21-14.

Meanwhile, Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali in a post on his official Facebook site also left a congratulatory message for the heroes.

He said their quest to deliver Malaysia’s first medal at the Tokyo Games was eagerly awaited by Malaysians.

“I am proud of their feat more so after the rollercoaster of anxious moments. I am also proud because Aaron, the 24-year-old is from Melaka and apparently, Melaka is the ‘trigger’ of medals at the Tokyo Olympics!” he said. — Bernama

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