One of the glaring anomalies in the otherwise glittering career of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo is the absence of a World Championships or Olympic medal. The most successful men’s doubles pair over the last five years have come close, but never quite managed to win the coveted medal.
After getting through comfortably to the Round of 16 beating Czech Republic’s Jaromir Jaracek/Tomas Svejda, Gideon admitted that they were keen to break the jinx this time around.
“We really want a World Championships medal, because we’ve never won any. But we don’t want to put any pressure on ourselves; so we are just focusing on playing well.”
“Of course we want to be champions here. We will just keep focus, take it step by step and try our best. We don’t want to take on any extra pressure,” said Sukamuljo.
Although they are the top seeds, the expectations on them will be different compared to past years. Gideon had surgery on his left ankle in April to remove pieces of bone, and although he recovered quickly and played the two events in Indonesia, the Minions were rested for the following events to allow him to heal completely.
Gideon, who looked leaner than usual, said he was close to his full fitness.
“I’m feeling happy to be back playing in Tokyo. I feel very well, almost 100 per cent,” he said. “I’ve lost six kilos. I’ve had to lose weight because after surgery the leg cannot take too much weight.”
Given the circumstances, did they feel the expectations on them were lesser than at previous World Championships?
“We feel that too,” said Gideon, “but of course we want to try our best.”