KK: Markis’ demise a great loss to badminton

PETALING JAYA: The death of 36-year-old legendary Indonesian doubles ace Markis Kido (pic) due to heart attack has sent shock waves through the badminton fraternity.

Among them are none other than former rivals Koo Kien Keat, 35, and Tan Boon Heong, 33, who both paid tributes to the Olympics and world champion.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong were one of Markis-Hendra Setiawan’s fiercest rivals from 2006 to 2010.

Together with China’s Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng and Jung Jae-sung-Lee Yong-dae, the pairs were regarded as the “Fantastic Four” of men’s doubles event of their era.

“Our long rivalry goes back to when we’re playing in the Asian Junior championships at the age of 16, and it went all the way until my retirement,” said Kien Keat.

“We shared a similar playing style and whenever we faced Markis and Hendra, it’s Markis that I would always pay extra attention to.

“I’m so sorry to hear this news. I didn’t expect him to pass away at such a young age. It’s a great loss to badminton. Rest in peace, my friend.”

Kien Keat-Boon Heong had dueled 12 times with Markis-Hendra throughout their career and triumphed in eight of them.

But some of the defeats Markis-Hendra had inflicted on the Malaysians were among the most painful ones.

Kien Keat recalled: “From the many battles, there were two most unforgettable ones. One was the 2008 Beijing Olympics (which they lost 16-21, 18-21 in the quarter-finals) because it was our first ever defeat to them after seven meetings. It could not have come at a worst time especially as it was the Olympics. I was really disappointed back then.

“The other was the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games final. It was our second straight final after the Doha success (in 2006), we wanted to defend the gold so much. We lost by a whisker (21-16, 24-26, 19-21). That victory meant a lot for Markis and Hendra as they fulfilled their major titles collection after having won the World Championships in 2007 and Olympics gold in 2008.”

Boon Heong said he had planned to catch up with Markis for a badminton session once the Covid-19 pandemic blows over but it was just not meant to be.

“When I first heard about his death from Datuk Lee (Chong Wei), it hit me so bad that I didn’t know how to react for a moment,” he said.

“I have quite a good relationship with Markis, Hendra and other Indonesian players. We keep in touch, and meet up for a meal and a good chat.

“I actually wanted to go to Indonesia to pay Markis a visit and play badminton with him after the pandemic but he’s now gone.”

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