Former Olympic champion Markis Kido, who succumbed to a heart attack yesterday aged 36, was a bundle of energy on court and an equally lively presence off it.
Kido had just started playing at a sports hall when the tragedy occurred. Among those who rushed to his aid was former Olympic champion Candra Wijaya.
The shocked badminton fraternity struggled to come to terms with the loss. Hendra Setiawan, with whom he established a highly successful partnership, said: “My deepest condolences for one of my best partners in joy and sorrow… he was one of the most extraordinary and talented players… I want to say thank you for being a good partner in winning or losing… thank you to have partnered me from scratch and we both worked hard for 14 years. Thank you Kido and goodbye.”
Another Olympic champion, Liliyana Natsir, recalled her junior days with Kido.
“The first time I participated in an international event, the Asian Junior Championships, I played mixed doubles with (Kido) and we won… may the family he left behind have fortitude.”
Kido was one of the most prominent figures in men’s doubles for over a decade from 2003. In partnership with Setiawan, Kido ascended the summit of men’s doubles. Kido, muscular and a hard-hitting and tireless presence at the back, was a perfect foil for his partner’s craft and ability to create openings. Their earliest title success at the senior level was the Badminton Asia Championships crown in 2005. That was followed by the World Cup triumph in 2006, the World Championships gold in 2007, and the win that would ensure sporting immortality – victory over home pair Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng in the final of the Beijing Olympics 2008.
There were other major successes too – such as the Asian Games gold in 2010, several World Superseries titles, and another Badminton Asia Championships title in 2009. He was also a vital cog in the Indonesian teams that made the final of the Thomas Cup 2010 and Sudirman Cup 2007.
The Kido/Setiawan duo didn’t defend their Olympic title in 2012. Setiawan started a successful partnership with Mohammad Ahsan, while Kido became a more frequent presence in the mixed doubles with his sister Pia Zebadiah Bernadet, and with Alvent Yulianto Chandra in the doubles, both with a fair degree of success.
There was to be one final hurrah at the Superseries, when he and new partner Marcus Fernaldi Gideon, playing only their fifth tournament together, captured the French Open 2013, having started out in the qualifying draw.
The Indonesian badminton federation PBSI recalled Kido’s contributions to badminton. “The big Indonesian badminton family is deeply saddened by the passing of Markis Kido, the badminton hero who has repeatedly made the Indonesian flag proud on the world badminton stage,” said Agung Firman Sampurna, Chairman of PBSI.
“Kido’s death is a big loss for the Indonesian badminton world. May the bereaved family have fortitude.”