OLYMPIC champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan could skip the March 3-8 All England Championships but Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari, who have been drawn to meet the Indonesians in the semi-finals, are not too excited about the news.
Reason being, the Malaysians, after a lengthy absence from the international arena, are racing against time to lose weight. Zakry and Fairuz each need to lose 1.5kg before they board the flight to Birmingham.
The World No 6 pair have been absent since the Super Series Masters last December due to Zakry’s knee injury, and Fairuz said he and his partner are on a diet plan.
“We have been training hard and our on-court understanding is excellent. We gained weight because of the long absence but it is not a problem,” said Fairuz in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
“My weight is 72kg and it’s above my ideal weight. It is the same for Zakry. It’s important to lose our excess baggage in order to excel in the All England.
“We are on a special diet of less carbohydrates and should return to our ideal weight by next week.”
Fairuz also said he and Zakry will need to be at their best to make an impact in the All England.
“We will have a strong chance of making the final if Markis-Hendra decide to skip the event. Our draw is reasonably good until the semi-finals so we should get there.” Fairuz added.
Zakry-Fairuz begin their campaign against Yonathan Dasuki-Rian Sukmawan of Indonesia and are expected to meet Denmark’s Anders Kristiansen-Simon Mollyhus in the second round before a likely quarter-final clash against England’s Nathan Robertson-Anthony Clark.
The Malaysians, assuming they progress this far, are expected to play South Koreans Lee Yong Dae-Shin Baek Cheol in the semi-finals, if Markis-Hendra skip the event.
It was reported in yesterday’s edition of the Jakarta Post that Markis-Hendra will likely skip the All England as Markis is suffering from a nagging left knee injury.
Meanwhile, Fairuz will also feature in the mixed doubles in the All England where he will partner Wong Pei Tty.
This will be the first time Fairuz is playing mixed doubles since the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
The pair will be in the qualifiers where they are drawn to play Denmark’s Jacob Chemnitz-Marie Roepke in the first round.
“Coach (Rexy Mainaky) has decided to try me out in the mixed doubles. He wants to try me out in two or three tournaments before deciding whether I should concentrate on two events (men’s and mixed doubles),” Fairuz disclosed.
“It is my first mixed doubles event in years. I partnered Pei Tty in the Asian Games. We have been practicing together for sometime and the combination is getting better.”