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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 August, 2004, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Britons edge through
Robert Blair and Nathalie Munt
Blair and Munt fought back from a set down
British mixed doubles badminton pair Robert Blair and Natalie Munt won their opening match in three sets against a tough Japanese duo.

Blair and Munt triumphed 13-15 15-7 15-13 against Tadashi Ohtsuka and Shizuka Yamamoto to move into the second round.

"That was very tense," said Blair. "But we kept ourselves together. "We are very happy and very relieved."

In the women's singles, British duo Kelly Morgan and Tracy Hallam both made their way through to the last 16.

Blair and Munt were 1-6 down in the third set but in a thrilling finale levelled at 13-13 before taking the match.

They were ranked 11th going into the competition but admitted the occasion placed some extra pressure on them.

"You try to keep your focus and tell yourself that this is just another badminton tournament," said Munt.

"But when you come out here you can't get away from the fact that it is something special.

"You just have to do you best to focus on your own game and the plan you have in place and keep out what is going on around you."

Morgan defeated Australia's Lenny Permana 11-5 11-3 and now faces world champion and second seed Zhang Ning.

But Hallam had a much tougher test and had to battle her way past Germany's Juliane Schenk 11-7 6-11 11-9.

Elsewhere in the women's singles, Chinese top seed Gong Ruina strolled to an emphatic 11-9 11-4 first-round victory over Singapore's Li Li.

Hot air

Afterwards Morgan reflected: "It was good to get that match out of the way.

"It is very difficult out there because the conditions at either end of the hall are not equal. The air conditioning causes drift on the shuttle.

"But it would be unbearable in this heat without it so you just have to get on with it."





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