MEN'S doubles pair Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik kept alive Malaysia's hopes of finally producing a badminton world champion, as they emerged winners of a tough semi-final final battle at the BWF World Championships in Tokyo on Saturday (27 August).
The world No.6 duo took 78 minutes before finally subduing India's seventh-seeded pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, coming back from a game down to win 20-22, 21-18, 21-16.
Chia and Soh will have a formidable obstacle in the way in Sunday's final: three-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.
The veteran duo, nicknamed the Daddies, also took three games before defeating their semi-final opponents - compatriots Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto - 23-21, 12-21, 21-16 in 52 minutes.
World No.1s reach men's and women's singles final
The men's singles final will be contested between world No.1 Viktor Axelsen and fast-rising Thai player Kunlavut Vitidsarn.
Reigning SEA Games gold medallist Kunlavut, 21, powered past China's Zhao Junpeng 22-20, 21-6 to book his first World Championships final appearance.
Meanwhile, Olympic champion Axelsen dispatched Taiwan's world No.4 Chou Tien-chen 21-15, 21-17 in 52 minutes to seal his first final appearance since winning the world title in 2017.
The women's singles final also features the current world No.1, Japan's Akane Yamaguchi. The defending champion defeated South Korean world No.3 An Se-young 21-19, 21-12 to book her berth in the final.
There will not be a rematch of last year's final, however, as world No.2 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan was beaten by China's world No.4 Chen Yufei, 21-15, 14-21, 18-21 in the other semi-final match.
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