Commonwealth Games Blogs

Do or die in Delhi

England's depth proves too much

It was do or die in Delhi for our Canadian badminton team on Thursday and, unfortunately, the home team proved too strong for us. The night before we battled it out with England for the top spot in our pool and we were defeated 4-1. We played well but couldn't match the experience and depth of the English squad.  I was pleased with my match - I won 21-13, 21-19 in singles over my good friend and English No. 1, Elizabeth Cann. 

Our mixed doubles team of Grace Gao and Toby Ng played a great match, pushing the English pair of Robertson and Wallwork to three sets, which will be a boost for their confidence considering Robertson is a former world champion and Olympic silver medallist.

On the court beside ours, India was making light work of Scotland and the Indian crowd was going absolutely nuts. It was a sneak preview of what we had coming.

India ends our medal hopes in team event

This morning, it was our turn to play the hometown heroes and, unfortunately for us, they didn't disappoint. First up was the mixed doubles, and Gao and Ng couldn't build on the momentum they had gained against England and lost in straight sets. 

Second to court was Dave Snider against Chetan Anand of India. Dave put up a good fight but Chetan's experience and confidence made the difference on the tight points at the end of each set. 

In the third match of the tie, I was up against my friend and local superstar, Saina Nehwal. Saina has shot up the rankings in the last year and is currently ranked third in the world. Despite her high rank, I wasn't intimidated as we've trained together quite a bit and my style of play matches well with her game. Having said that, I knew I had to be at my very best to have a chance to win.

When our match was announced, the crowd jumped to their feet and cheered so loud I was worried the building might collapse (a reasonable concern all things considered). But I was excited to play the role of the evil foreigner.

As the match began, I played well and felt confident with the way the first set was heading. Unfortunately, I forced a few errors by trying for too much near the end of the set. The second game went similar to the first and I was reading Saina's shots better than I expected. It was all even at the break, but a concentration lapse between 10 and 15 cost me the set and the match ended 21-16, 21-14. 

Despite the loss, I gained some confidence from this match and hope to improve on my performance if and when Saina and I meet in the quarter-finals of the individual draw, as expected.

For full scores and results from the Commonwealth Games badminton tournament, click here.

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