MALAYSIA IN FOUR FINALS

When the dust settled at the end of the semi finals of the individual badminton event of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, Malaysia and England turned out to be the big winners in terms of players qualifying for the final.

Malaysia, which featured in five semi final matches has four finalists while England who also had five semifinalists will see action in three of the final events.

The biggest losers were Singapore as they had four semifinalists but only their women’s doubles pair made the final, while India who had four players in action in the semis will be represented by two finalists, in the likes of Saina Nehwal in the women’s singles as well as the women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa.

In the women’s doubles, the fairytale run of Australia’s Kate Wilson Smith and He Tian Tang came to an end in the semi finals.

The duo, who came out of semi-retirement for the chance to compete in Delhi, faced a battle with the crowd and number two seeds, Jwala/Ashwini, but could not pull off another giant killing act despite their valiant efforts.

Despite being unseeded, the Aussies made it to the last four but will rue the opportunity of not making the final as they lost 12-21,21-13,11-21.

In the men’s singles, world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia sailed into the final as he sent India’s number one, Chetan Anand packing with a 21-11, 21-10 win.

The manner in which Chong Wei disposed off Chetan showed that he has shrugged of the back injury he suffered in the math against Rajiv Ouseph in the World Championships in Paris last August.

And co-incidentally Chong Wei will meet Rajiv in the final on Thursday after the second seed came from a set down to break the hearts of millions of Indians by defeating P. Kashyap 19-21,21-12,21-18.

“I am hungry for the gold medal as this could well be the last time I feature in the Commonwealth Games.

“Besides I carry the hopes and aspirations of my country thus I am focused on the objective, that is to win gold, no matter what the conditions or who my opponents is.”

The match between Kashyap and Rajiv had drama right till the end as the Indian was clearly upset by a line call when the scores were tied 18-18 in the third set.

A smash by Rajiv on Kashyap’s left was called in by the linesman. And that had the Indian and the crowd fuming as Kashyap claimed it was out and appealed to the chair umpire.

“It was a bad call and affected my performance ad was the contributing factor to my defeat. The chair umpire could have easily over ruled the call but opted not to. I was too hasty to finish the match and that cost me a place in the final,” admitted Kashyap.

But Kashyap has only himself to blame for the defeat as he won the first set 21-19 but was at sea when he lost the second 12-21. And in the third, Kashyap led 16-13 but allowed Rajiv to draw level.

It was point for point after that until that call which was hotly disputed by Kashyap and affected his concentration.

“I never gave up although he had a healthy lead in the third. It was a question of sending the shuttle back and letting him make the mistakes. I am glad it paid off as the pressure got to him,” said Rajiv.

“It will be tough against Chong Wei in the final and I am just going to go out there to enjoy the occasion.”

In the women’s singles, Wong Mew Choo had to dig deep into her reserves before securing victory over Elizabeth Cann of England.

Mew Choo won the first set 21-12 but lost the second 18-21. She went on to book her place in the final with a 21-17 win in the third. And she will play the darling of Indian badminton Saina Nehwal in the final after the Indian defeated Susan Egelstaff of Scotland 21-10, 21-17 in the last tie of the day.

“It is a heavy burden off my shoulders now that I have made the final. Against Saina I will give it my best shot as the pressure is on her to win. I will not give in easily and she has to earn every point,” said the second seeded Mew Choo.

In the men’s doubles, second seeds, Nathan Robertson/Anthony Clare of England were made to work hard by Singapore’s Chayut Triyachart/Derek Wong before prevailing 21-10,17-21, 21-14.

But there were no such problems for the top seeds Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong as they sailed into the final with relative ease after defeating Singapore’s Hendra Wijaya/Hendri Kurniawan 21-11, 21-8.

However Malaysia suffered mixed fortunes though in the mixed doubles event when fourth seeds Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying lost to top seeds Nathan Robertson/Jenny Wallwork of England.

But the scratch pair of Koo Kien Keat/Chin Ee Hui marched into the final when they defeated Singapore’s Chayut Triyachart/Yao Lei19-21, 21-16,21-18.

Chan/Goh have only themselves to blame as they held match point at 2-18 in the third set but failed to finish off the match. They eventually lost 19-21,21-13,23-21.

Semi Final Results

Mens Singles

Lee Chong Wei (MAS) bt Chetan Anand (IND) 21-11, 21-12
Rajiv Ouseph (ENG) bt P. Kashyap (IND) 19-21, 21-12,21-18

Womens Singles

Saina Nehwal (IND) bt Susan Egelstaff 21-10, 21-17
Wong Mew Choo (MAS) bt Elizabeth Cann (ENG) 21-12,18-21, 21-17

Mens Doubles

Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong (MAS) bt Hendra Wijaya/Hendri Kurniawan (SIN) 21-11, 21-8.
Anthony Clark/Nathan Robertson  (ENG) bt Chayut Triyachart/Derek Wong (SIN) 21-10,17-21, 21-14

Womens Doubles

Sari Shinta Mulia/Yao Lei (SIN) bt Jenny Wallwork/Gabrielle White (ENG) 21-19, 21-13
Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa (IND) bt Kate Wilson Smith/He Tang Tien (AUS) 12-21,21-13, 21-11

Mixed Doubles

Koo Kien Keat/Chin Ee Hui (MAS) bt Chayut Triyachart/Yao Lei (SIN) 19-21,21-16,21-18
Nathan Robertson/Jenny Wallwork (ENG) bt Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (MAS) 19-21,21-13,23-21

Bronze Medal Playoffs – Wednesday, 13th October 2010
Mens Singles

Chetan Anand (IND) v P. Kashyap (IND)

Womens Singles

Susan Egelstaff (SCO) v Elizabeth Cann (ENG)

Mens Doubles
Hendra Wijaya/Hendri Kurniawan (SIN) v Chayut Triyachart/Derek Wong (SIN)

Womens Doubles

Jenny Wallwork/Gabrielle White (ENG) v Kate Wilson Smith/He Tang Tien (AUS)

Mixed Doubles
Chayut Triyachart/Yao Lei (SIN) v Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (MAS)

Gold Medal Playoffs – Thursday, 14th October
Mens Singles

Lee Chong Wei (MAS) v Rajiv Ouseph (ENG)

Womens Singles

Saina Nehwal (IND) v Wong Mew Choo (MAS)

Mens Doubles

Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong (MAS) v Anthony Clark/Nathan Robertson  (ENG)

Womens Doubles

Sari Shinta Mulia/Yao Lei (SIN) v Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa (IND)

Mixed Doubles

Koo Kien Keat/Chin Ee Hui (MAS) v Nathan Robertson/Jenny Wallwork (ENG)