CWG 2010 – Aussies and Liz bag Bronze

Before the final day of the badminton event in Delhi, some medals were already at stake even if the winners of Wednesday’s play off matches for bronze will have to […]

Before the final day of the badminton event in Delhi, some medals were already at stake even if the winners of Wednesday’s play off matches for bronze will have to wait for the finals to be over to step on the third steps of the podiums. Liz Cann and Australia’s Wilson-Smith and Huang will be amongst those.

By Raphaël Sachetat and Dev Sukumar, DNA. Photos: Sukumar for Badmintonphoto (live from Delhi)

Susan Eglelstaff had gotten bronze in 2006, it was Elisabeth Cann’s turn to taste the sweetness of a medal in a …and to get a little revenge, as it was the same opponent – then Susan Hughes as she hadn’t gotten married yet – who had spoiled the party at this very same stage, for the bronze medal playoff.

This time, the Jersey girl was on top of her game, leading in both games before a final and relieving success 21-18, 21-16, only days after she had lost to the Scott in the team event in straight games.

I’m so so pleased to win this time,” Cann (photo)  said to Badminton England.  “It was exactly the same in 2006 when I lost the play-offs but I think I was more relaxed than four years ago. I just can’t describe how I feel. I’ve improved as the tournament’s gone on. It’s been such a long tournament.  I kept thinking ‘Am I going to get a medal?’ so I’m just so happy.

Australians end medal drought

England wasn’t all smiles as the other medal at stake on Wednesday went missing in spite of a good opportunity for Jenny Wallwork and Gabrielle White, who were taking on more experienced but lower-ranked Kate Wilson Smith and He Tian Tang (photo, headline). And it was the Australians who found the right tempo and, after losing the first game 21-23, were on top during the first and third game 21-13, 21-16. A reward for Wilson Smith who had taken a 14-month leave from her paid job to get ready for the Games.  It was also a reward for Australia, is this ended the medal drought for any competition in the badminton event for the Australians.

In the other matches, Singapore’s Yao Lei and Chayut Triyachart won bronze in the mixed, Kashyap beat Anand in an all-India affair while Saputra and Wijaya took another medal for Singapore, which will be eying one more gold in the name of Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari in the women’s doubles final.

India going for two gold

Thursday’s matches will be the last after 10 long days of competition, with some mouth watering finals. Lee Chong Wei against Rajiv Ouseph, Koo and Tan against England’s Robertson and Clark – half of each pair hoping to be back for a possible double gold as Robertson and Jenny Wallwork take on Koo and Chin in the mixed. But all eyes will be turned towards the ladies’ events, where India could scoop and historical gold in both singles and doubles.

This is the first time in perhaps two decades that badminton in India has played to packed halls, and not just in the later stages. Most of Saina’s international successes has been abroad.  This is a rare chance for Indian fans to see her in action, and they have made full use of that opportunity. Indian players have received the kind of applause and support they wouldn’t have imagined, and yet another Saina victory will send them into a tizzy, just as gold medals in athletics and the other events have done.

Saina plays Malaysian second seed Wong Mew Choo, and the recent record is overwhelmingly in favour of the Indian. Saina (photo) survived a stiff test in the first game of their team final to eventually wear out the Malaysian, who plays a tireless defensive game.  It should be 80-20, Saina winning in straight games.

The women’s doubles final is more intriguing as a contest. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa grounded the Malaysian pair of Chin Ei Hui / Woon Khe Wei earlier in the draw — to continue with the good work they have been doing over the last year.

Jwala is a well-known name, but the soft-spoken Ashwini hasn’t been given enough credit. But in that match, it was Ashwini who led the charge, smashing strongly from the back and hardly making a mistake. The youngster, still in her second year of senior international badminton, is proving herself at the highest level.

They take on Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari of Singapore.

Bronze medal results
Men’s singles: P Kashyap (IND) bt Chetan Anand (IND) 21-15, 21-18
Women’s singles: Liz Cann (ENG) bt Susan Egelstaff (SCO) 21-18, 21-16
Women’s doubles: H Tang/Kate Wilson-Smith (AUS) bt Jenny Wallwork / Gabrielle White (ENG) 21-23, 21-12, 21-16
Mixed doubles: Chayut Triyachart / Yao Lei (SIN) bt Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying (MAS) 21-14, 17-21, 21-17
Men’s doubles: Hendri Saputra Kurniawan / Hendra Wijaya (SIN) bt Chayut Triyachart/Derek Wong (SIN) 23-21, 21-12

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.