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June 26, 2017

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Michelle Li strikes semifinal badminton blow for Canada

GLASGOW, Scotland -- Top seed PV Sindhu of India was beaten in the semifinals of the women's badminton singles as Michelle Li of Canada broke British and Asian dominance at the Commonwealth Games.

The 22-year-old was elated after coming through 22-20, 22-20 in a closely contested match where her policy of relaxing paid off.

"I'm kind of speechless," said the third seed. "I don't think we've won a medal since 1994 so I'm really happy.

"Yesterday I forgot the meaning of why I actually play badminton. Today was about playing for pleasure. Of course you want to win but you have to enjoy it.

"I kept telling myself to relax and to play with no fear. I am from North America and I want to show that American countries can still put up a fight in badminton. This win means a lot to Canada."

Li will play Kirsty Gilmour in the final on Sunday after the Scot delighted her home crowd with a 21-13, 21-19 victory against Tee Jing Yi of Malaysia while Sindhu had the consolation of taking bronze.

In the men's singles, Derek Wong of Singapore prevented an all-Indian final after coming from a game down to beat RV Gurusaidutt 16-21, 21-19, 21-15 in a tense contest where he earned six points in a row in the second game to turn the tide.

It was the first time a Singapore man had reached the final of the men's singles in Commonwealth Games history.

Second seed Kashyap Parupalli had earlier ended the hopes of England's Rajiv Ouseph with a 18-21, 21-17, 21-18 win in the opening semifinal which lasted one hour and 23 minutes.

It was not Ouseph's day as he went down in another closely fought three-game encounter to Gurusaidutt in the bronze medal match.

England husband and wife pairing Chris and Gabby Adcock were the first English winners of the day as they beat Scotland's Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier 21-14, 21-14.

Both had previously played mixed doubles with the other partner so this was always going to have a bit of needle to it and the delight on the faces of the top seeds at the end told just how much it meant.

"This was probably going to be our toughest match," said Gabby. "We knew we were a quicker pair than them so we needed to keep up our speed.

"They might have been a bit nervous as they have a lot of pressure on them."

The Adcocks are joined in Sunday's final by another English pairing in Chris Langridge and Heather Olver who overcame Chan Peng Soon and Pei Jing Lai of Malaysia in a tense battle, while Bankier and Blair later took the bronze medal to the delight of the home fans.

In the men's doubles, Tan Wee Kiong and Goh Wei Shem of Malaysia will take on Danny Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart of Singapore in the final after both pairs knocked out Englishmen.

Tan and Goh sensational beat Adcock and Andrew Ellis while the Singaporeans edged out Chris Langridge and Peter Mills, who won the bronze medal.

Another Malaysian pair in Hoo Vivian Kah Mun and Woon Khe Wei will be in gold medal action on the final day against Indians Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa in the women's doubles. Adcock and Lauren Smith took the bronze.

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