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Saturday, 3 August, 2002, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK

Malaysia in form for finals

By Mike Burnett
BBC Sport Online at Bolton Arena

Malaysia are set to take home at least two badminton gold medals after a dominating their semi-final clashes on Saturday.

Two finals will be all-Malaysian contests, while two more contain a player from the Asian country, guaranteeing them at least two more golds or silvers.

Hashim Muhammed is set to play Lee Tsueng Seng in the men's singles, while Malaysian duo Chew Choon Eng and Chan Chong Ming take on team-mates Choong Tan Fook and Chang Kim Wai in the men's doubles final.

"I'm very disappointed, we made so many errors"
Jo Goode

Compatriots Lim Pek Siah and Ang Li Peng will play number three seeds Sara Runesten-Petersen and Nicole Gordon for women's doubles title.

And in the mixed doubles, Chew Choon Eng and Chin Eei Hui will face Olympic bronze medallists Simon Archer and Jo Goode.

Malaysia will hope to continue the devastating form that saw them vanquish three of England's medal hopes.

Hashim got things started on Saturday, when he upset men's singles favourite Wong Choong Hann 3-2 (8-6 6-8 7-0 8-6 7-3) in the opening semi-final clash.

It was the first time the number three had recorded a win against the 1998 champion and he will now face a tough encounter against team-mate Lee Tsueng Seng

Number two seed Lee demolished Welsh opponent Richard Vaughan 3-0 ( 7-4 7-07-1) in the other semi-final.

It was more success for Malaysia and more woe for England in the doubles clashes.

Old guard return

In the men's doubles, both pairs of England hopefuls were knocked out.

Archer and partner James Andersen crashed out after a 3-0 (7-4 7-5 7-2) loss to Malaysian duo Chew and Chan.

And, later in the afternoon, Malaysia piled on the misery for the host country with Choong Tan Fook and Chang Kim Wai's 3-0 (8-6 7-3 7-4) win over experienced pair Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark.

But the real surprises came in the women's and mixed doubles, where the Asian nation ousted both sets of favourites

Hotshot pair Gail Emms and Jo Goode were defeated 3-1 (7-4 6-8 8-6 7-4) by Lim and Ang in a painfully hard-fought encounter.

And in the last match of the day, Malaysian pair Chew and Chin fought back in a five-game thriller to beat number five seeds Clark and Sankey in the mixed doubles.

Hopes of three all-Malaysian finals were dashed when the number three seeds Sara Runesten-Petersen and Nicole Gordon of New Zealand demolished Wong Pei Tty and Chin Eei Hui 3-0 in the women's doubles.

England's hopes of gold now lie with Tracey Hallam in the women's singles and Archer and Goode in the mixed doubles.

Last year's Thai Open champion Hallam had little trouble finishing off 1998 silver medallist Arnat Popat 3-0 (7-3 7-3 7-1).

She will face Singapore's Li Li, who beat Malaysian Ng Mee Fen in straight games 7-3 7-0 7-1.

It looked as though England would have more disappointment when Archer and Goode struggled against New Zealand pair Daniel Shirley and Sara Runesten Petersen.

But the Olympic stars battled back in dramatic style to win 5-2 (7-1 5-7 8-6 4-7 7-2).


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