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Gopichand crashes out in quarter-finals

The Indian challenge in badminton singles event came to an end with Pullela Gopi Chand bowing out in the men's quarter-final on Saturday.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2002 20:02 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The Indian challenge in badminton singles event of the 14th Asian Games came to an end with ace shuttler Pullela Gopi Chand bowing out in the men's quarter- final at the Gangseo Gymnasium here on Saturday.

Gopi Chand went down to South Korea's Seung Mo Shon in straight games 9-15 11-15 to the disappointment of the Indian contingent which was expecting at least a bronze medal from the former All England champion.

Gopi Chand, now below 50 in world rankings due to poor form and injury, committed a number of unforced errors against the South Korean who enjoyed vociferous home crowd support.

The second seeded Shon took tight control of the proceedings with a better all round play to wrap up the first game without much difficulty though the Indian showed signs of playing to his potential towards the fag end of that game.

After conceding the first game, Gopi Chand made a valiant effort to pull back but the Korean, despite making a few mistakes under pressure, did not allow the Indian to gain an upper hand.

Gopi Chand seemed to have lost his concentration midway through the second game and the local favourite was quick to pounce on the chance and increase his lead substantially.

The ace Indian shuttler did manage to reduce the lead to some extent before it was all over.

Shon admitted after the match Gopi Chand had proved to be a tough opponent. "He is as tough as they come and today he showed glimpses of his top form. I was lucky to win in two games."

The only other Indian in the fray, Abhinn Shyam Gupta had made his exit in the very first round of the singles event losing to world champion Hendrawan of Indonesia.

The Indonesian, however, lost to fifth ranked Xia Xuanze of China 15-12 10-15 4-15 in the qaurter-finals today.

South Korea's Hyun Ii Lee also moved in the singles semi-finals pipping Malaysia's Choong Hann Wong with a 12-15 15-9 15-6 victory while Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat demolished Malaysia's Muhammad Hashim 15-11 15-5 in what turned out to be a rather one-sided quarter-final encounter.

First Published: Oct 12, 2002 18:52 IST