Pang gets dream match against World No 1
Alex Pang of Canada could not have asked for a more difficult match in the second round of the men’s singles competition at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
For his reward for clearing the first round is a dream match against World No 1 Lee Chong Wei on Sunday.
Pang defeated Abraham Kennedy Wogute of Uganda 21-6, 21-14 and said he was looking forward to the match against Chong Wei.
“It is the dream of every player to play Chong Wei. It will be a new experience for me and I hope to learn from it. Trust me I will give my level best,” said Pang.
Also clearing the first round with relative ease was seventh seed Derek Wong Zi Liang who defeated Abdool Sahir Edoo of Mauritius 21-12, 21-6. He will take on Ifraimu Jinkan of Nigeria who defeated Fred Gituku of Kenya 21-15, 21-14.
Ebenazar Fagbemi of Nigeria also cleared the first round with a 21-10, 21-15 win over Mathew Wilkinson from Isle of Man. His reward will be a second round meeting with Chetan Anand of India and Ebenazar said that it was going to be difficult as badminton is not popular in his country.
“Football is the number one sport and it is followed by athletics. So badminton is in the third spot. But we get a lot of support from the public. Personally for me it was my mum who supported my desire to play badminton,” said Ebenazar.
“ I know it will be difficult against Chetan tomorrow but I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I will use the experience for the future.”
It was a miserable day though for Falkland Island’s Laura Minto as she was defeated 21-2, 21-6 by Eileen Foo Kune from Mauritius in the women’s singles.
Clearly hampered by injury, Laura was hardly in the game but paid tribute to her government for its support for badminton players.
“I twisted my knee and there was pain in my ligaments. I tried not to stress myself in the game but was affected by the injury as my knee hurt,” said Laura.
“We are grateful to our government as it helps pay for almost everything. Our facilities are adequate and we have coaches from England to guide us.”
While Laura was ousted, Gayle Llyod of Guernsey got off to a good start when she defeated Mercy Joseph of Kenya 21-10, 22-20.
“I am just glad to play as this is the first time I am playing and I was getting used to it. Our nations are not renowned for badminton and the competition will get tougher,” said Gayle.
Another player who was affected by injury was Anitah Bushuru Alube from Kenya who was forced to concede her match against Subodha Kumari Yapa Dahanayake from Sri Lanka with the score 21-9, 5-2 in favour of Subodha.
“I went for a backhand at the net and I felt a twitch on my ankle. The friction of the courts affected my movement hence my ankle was twisted. I had no choice but to stop playing as I was in no condition to continue,” said Anitah.