ASIAN GAMES 2010 Day 6 – Markis, Hendra rise to the occasion again

Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan once again scooped the best medal in Guangzhou, beating Koo and Tan in the final after saving two match points. Two years after Beijing, they […]

On the podium: Hendra Setiawan / Markis Kido (INA, gold-top); Tan Boon Heong / Koo Kien Keat (MAS, silver), Muhammad Ahsan / Alvent Yulianto Chandra (INA, bronze), Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae (KOR, bronze)

Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan once again scooped the best medal in Guangzhou, beating Koo and Tan in the final after saving two match points. Two years after Beijing, they are once again on top of the planet badminton.

By Raphael Sachetat, live from Guangzhou. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The Olympic Medal was tougher to get,” said Hendra with a smile.

Tougher? How much tougher can it be than to come back from two match points down against one of the best teams in the world – namely Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, before nailing an another amazing victory.  True, they didn’t have the whole Beijing stadium against them this time, of course, and the gold medal has a different flavour, but Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan (pictured below) did have to dig deep in their badminton to overcome the powerful and skillful pair of Koo and Tan. And they reached this pinnacle “with no specific preparation” as hinted by Setiawan, who, together with Kido, has had to train on his own since they became independent from PBSI, their national association.

The title holders from Malaysia don’t have much to regret – apart, of course, from failing to convert these two match points into gold, when leading 21-20 and 23-22 in the second game after scooping the first. But Koo Kien Keat and  Tan Boon Heong (pictured below) played some beautiful badminton Saturday night for the only final scheduled in the evening session. But it just wasn’t enough to beat the Indonesians, who once again rose to the occasion and won the most important medal at stake for the past 2 years – for them anyway – with a next goal set for the All England 2011.

After a clear 21-16 win in the opener, the Malaysians led most of the time in the second game, but not by a big margin which made them felt under constant pressure.

Their strategy not to let us get away was the right one,” said Koo Kien Keat after the match. They didn’t let us more than one or two points away, and they were able to play better in crucial points. They were just taking the net earlier for these important points.

The Indonesians may have saved those two crucial match points in the second to win 26-24 but they got another scare in the third game. Leading 14-9, they probably thought they had done the most difficult, but the Malaysians came back to lead 16-15. And once again, Kido’s tough smashes added with Setiawan’s aerial net play proved lethal and it was the Olympic gold medallists who were to deprive their opponents of a repetition of their 2006 title, with a final 21-19 in the decider.

Sunday’s matches should be intriguing as well, featuring, as they do, the only two  finals where visitors will be taking on the mighty Chinese at home for gold medals.  First up will be the mixed doubles between Korea’s Shin Baek Cheol / Lee Hyo Jung and Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei of China and then the men’s singles final will be a rematch of the Beijing final between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan to close the badminton competition of these 16th Asian Games.

All results HERE

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.