Nicol David kept alive her chances of a Commonwealth Games golden double when she and Ong Beng Hee recovered from an early hiccup to reach the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles with two wins in a day.
David, who has been world number one at women's singles for 55 unbroken months, gained the one major title to elude her when she took the singles gold medal on Friday.
It was followed by a shock loss when she and Ong lost their first group match two days ago, partly because David was still on an enormous high after her triumph.
But the damage has been repaired now that the two Malaysians have qualified from their group and followed it by eliminating England's Adrian Grant and Sarah Kippax 11-7, 11-3 i the last 16.
Ong, the world's 18th ranked man, was full of praise for his high profile partner, and optimistic that they could go on to win a medal.
“We're doing more of the right things now and were having fun as well,” he said. “Nicol has the speed, and the way she hits the ball, and tactically as well, gives us so much.
“My job is to make sure I can cover for her, in case she gets into trouble.”
That was rarely, for David was rock solid under pressure in the rallies while Ong was fast in retrieving and perceptive with volleys, sometimes winning points when either of the English was caught too far up the court. Grant and Kippax had their best spell when they came back from 4-10 to 7-10, but after Kippax was pressured into hitting down to conclude the first game the Malaysians took hold of the game.
“We're playing together better now. We are using the court better,”said David. “Beng Hee is keeping it tight and keeping it solid.” At the end the Malaysians embraced, delighted to advance their chances of a medal even though it is in a form of the game which is not played on either the men's or the women's world circuits.