Big guns start loudly in Delhi

NEW DELHI: Malaysia and England, each previous winners of the team event, were both able to ease their way comfortably into the competition with rapid wins over small island opponents.

WINNING PAIR: Wong Khe Wei (left) and Goh Liu Ying in action against Isle Of Man (IOM) at Siri Fort Sports Complex. — Bernama photo

The top seeded title-holders Malaysia won 5-0 against the Isle of Man, while England, the 2002 Commonwealth champions, overcame the Falkland Islands by the same score.

Malaysia’s team plied their mighty world number one Lee Chong Wei against the team derived from a mere 80,000 people.

Lee, who will later be defending the Commonwealth men’s singles title, overcame Joshua Green 21-16, 21-6, gradually accelerating the pace of the rallies as he went on. The major plus was that Lee seemed to be suffering from little inconvenience from the back injury which hindered his disappointing attempt to become world champion in Paris in August.

Later Wong Mew Choo, seeded to reach the final of the women’s singles, wrapped up the winning 3-0 lead with a much more ruthless 21-6, 21-6 win over Cristen Callow.

Malaysia’s other winners were one half of the world’s number one men’s doubles pair, Koo Kien Keat, playing with Chin Ee Hui in the mixed doubles, former All-England men’s singles champion Hafiz Muhammad Hashim playing with Chan Peng Soon in the men’s doubles, and Goh Liu Ying and Woon Khe Wei in the women’s doubles.

England’s team contained Anthony Clark, the only player to reach two world finals in 2006, who was earning his 100th cap at the age of 33 with ambitions intact of continuing till the 2012 Olympics.

Playing with a new partner, Chris Adcock, it took less than half an hour for Clark to help wrap up England’s fourth win by 21-3, 21-7 against Douglas Clark and Michael Stewart.

“It wasn’t the toughest match of my life, but this tournament is about the smaller nations getting a chance as well,” said Clark.

England’s other winners were Carl Baxter in the mens’ singles, Liz Cann in the women’s singles, Adcock and Gabby White in the mixed doubles, and Heather Olver and Maria Agathangelou in the women’s doubles. — AFP

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