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Singapore grab gold in badminton

04 August 2002

Singapore's Li Li triumphed in the women's singles beating home-crowd favourite and Kuala Lumpur bronze medallist England's Tracey Hallam.


Badminton concludes at the Bolton Arena today

Li won the first set 7-5 in a close affair but Hallam struck back immediately, winning the second set 7-5. Hallam went to an early 3-0 lead but the score remained that way for some time as the players continually failed to hold serve.

Li shifted up a gear to get herself back in the set but couldn't control Hallam's deft touches at the net. Hallam maintained the pressure and closed out the set to level the match at a set apiece.

Tension mounted in the third set as both players tried to gain control. The set contained many long rallies as both players tried to find weaknesses in their opponent with a mixture of drop shots and smashes.

The set could have gone either way as Hallam was turning the shuttle well. However, some of Hallam's forays near the net left Li ample room to punish the back of the court.

Hallam had a chance to take the set at 7-7, with a vocal home crowd urging her on, but a crossed clear went long and gave Li the opportunity to finish, which she duly did, taking the set 8-7.

Hallam said: "The crowd have been fantastic all week. I never expected it to be like this at all."

The fourth set did not go to plan for Hallam as shots continued to go out. Li took the set, the match and the gold medal in just three minutes, winning 7-0.

Li commented: "I felt I had nothing to lose and I just tried my best. I never thought I would win gold - but I came to try."

Hallam added: "I am disappointed at losing but Li played well today. I felt a little tired and thought I had control perhaps a little too soon and became a little too confident."

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