Aaron: Not right to split Marcus-Kevin partnership

PETALING JAYA: Top doubles shuttler Aaron Chia has backed their under-fire rivals Marcus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya to remain as a pair after there has been calls to split the world No. 1.

The Indonesians found themselves under heavy scrutiny after failing to impress for the second tournament running.

The duo, nicknamed “The Minions”, went down tamely to Aaron-Soh Wooi Yik during Indonesia’s 3-2 quarter-finals defeat to Malaysia at the Sudirman Cup which didn’t go down well with their fans.

It marked Marcus-Kevin’s second defeat to the Malaysian world No. 8 after having lost to them in the last eight of the Tokyo Olympics.

But Aaron has leapt to their defence saying that it was unfair to conclude that Kevin-Marcus are past their prime.

“I feel the criticism on them is uncalled for,” said Aaron.

“At one point, they were in ruthless form and kept winning titles (ended the 2019 season with eight World Tour titles), everyone hailed them as invincible.

“I think it’s not wise to separate them because athletes go through up and down in their career.”

Aaron added that a point in case is that he and Wooi Yik failed to deliver when it mattered most when they lost what was on paper a winnable match against Yugo Kobayashi-Takuro Hoki, which led to Malaysia’s 3-1 defeat to Japan in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Knowing that a win could potentially change the outcome of the match, Aaron insisted they have no regrets as they have done their best in the tournament.

Alongside captain Lee Zii Jia, Aaron-Wooi Yik were the team’s best performers with three wins and one defeat.

“I wouldn’t say we had any regrets for losing the match. I believe we have done our part in helping Malaysia win a medal and that’s what matters,” said Aaron.

“That’s badminton. For instance, although we defeated the Minions twice in a row, I wouldn’t say that we’ve surpassed them. They could be having a bad spell.”

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