Badminton Life

Markis and Hendra Triumph in China

Indonesia's Olympic champions Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan justified their top seeding by winning the China Masters Super Series men's doubles title on Sunday.

The world number one pairing scored a 21-17, 24-22 victory over the unseeded Chinese duo of Sun Junjie and Xu Chen.

Markis and Hendra were Indonesia's sole gold medal winners at the recent Beijing Olympics. Their success in Beijing meant they maintained the country's record of winning at least one gold in every Olympics since the sport gained medal status at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

And they never looked like stumbling during the China Masters as they won all their matches without dropping a game.

They didn't need to play in the first round because, as top seeds, they received a bye. In the second round, they were pitted against Thailand's Songpong Anugritayawon and Tesana Panvisvas.

The Indonesians had little trouble seeing off the Thais, winning 21-12, 21-12.

Next up was their compatriots Muhammad Ahsan and Bona Septano, who received a second-round walkover from China's fifth-seeded Guo Zhendong and Xie Zhongbo.

Despite having a day's rest, Ahsan and Septano were not match for their higher-ranked countryman, who strolled to a 21-17, 21-18 victory.

Another Indonesian pairing lay in wait in the semi-finals in the form of Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Joko Riyadi. Again, the top seed were too strong, winning 21-15, 21-14.

Sun and Xu had caused a major upset in the semi-finals when they defeated the second-seeded pair of Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng 21-13, 21-16.

The unseeded pair knocked off three seeds on the way to the final. First, they beat Malaysia's former All England champions and third seeds Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong 25-23, 21-19 in the second round.

After that, they met the eighth-seeded pair from Indonesia, Yonatan Suryatama Dasuki and Rian Sukmawan, who went down in three games, 21-12, 18-21, 21-13.

Then it was Cai and Fu's turn to fall before the upstart pair met their match in Markis and Hendra in the final.

The Indonesians proved they are, indeed, the top men's doubles pair in the world but the Chinese, with their strength in depth, showed that they have plenty of talent waiting in the wings.

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