MALAYSIA is a happy hunting ground for the Indonesian men's doubles pair of Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan.
The duo put up a classy show yesterday to end the gallant run of Denmark's Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen in the Malaysian Open, winning an entertaining 48-minute final 21-10, 20-22, 21-18.
Last year, the Indonesians also stole the thunder at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, emerging as the world champions.
“We certainly like Malaysia. We have good results to show from here,” said the soft-spoken Hendra.
Although, they have been achieving good results for Indonesia and are currently ranked as their country's number one, Markis-Kido are not rated in the same class as their two predecessors – Ricky Subagja-Rexy Mainaky and Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan.
“Yes, they are our country's famed pair. No, we are certainly not on par with them. We will only consider that we are in the same rank as them when we win an Olympic gold medal – just like them,” said Hendra.
“Winning the Malaysian Open is a good start for us. Now, we hope to maintain this and go all the way to win the gold medal in our first appearance at the Olympics in Beijing in August.
On their main challengers for Olympic glory, Markis said: “It has to be Malaysia's Koo (Kien Keat)-Tan (Boon Heong). We have never beaten them in a tournament. The other pair is China's Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng.”
Despite the defeat yesterday, world number 14 Rasmussen-Paaske felt that they had given indication of being the pair to watch out for this year.
“We have beaten several top pairs here. We have made a statement here – that we are back to challenge for a medal at the Olympics,” said Rasmussen.
Meanwhile, China went back home with two titles through Yang Wei-Zhang Jiewen in the women's doubles and He Hanbin-Yu Yang in the mixed doubles.