2010 All News
England salute Clarky's 100th cap
Anthony Clark's 100th cap, in a 5-0 win over Uganda, produced a couple of surprises no-one could have guessed and another which was even nicer than he might have hoped for as England's campaign got satisfactorily under way in Delhi.
Firstly, the two-time former world silver medalist found his last Commonwealth Games hampered by a sudden bout of toothache requiring immediate route canal treatment and hardly allowing him a moment's sleep.
That that did not prevent Clarky from wrapping up England's fourth win in partnership with Chris Adcock in a 5-0 success against the Falklands Islands.
Nor did the prospect of further treatment the following day prevent him from taking the court a second time in one day - during England's second 5-0 win, this time against Uganda.
It was good that he did, for arrangements had been made for the announcer to boom the message of Clark's landmark appearance on the loudspeaker and for the ton-up guy to be clapped on to court.
“It was a great honour,” Clark said after he and Nathan Robertson won their men's doubles. “I've always said that no matter how many times it happened, playing for England is special. But this is extra special.”
Robertson showed no reaction to his five emotional hours on his feet carrying the England flag in the opening ceremony – except perhaps a lasting extra buzz of adrenaline.
Neither the morning nor the evening match stretched any of England's technical or tactical skills, but there was a potentially important test of their psychology and of their adaptability.
“We are really trying to get used to the arena,” explained head coach Andy Wood. “It's one thing training in it and another to play competitive matches in it.
“There is the air-conditioning and the lights, and each court is slightly different. That's our challenge to nail down what's like to compete in the arena.
“Sometimes you have to have a focus like that, or you lose concentration.”
For the younger players there was also the exciting challenge of playing in a multi-sport event for the first time, the nearest thing to playing in an Olympics that is possible before London 2012.
“I think they are living every moment,” Wood concluded. “Let's hope we can maintain that feeling, because this tournament is a long hard stint.”
For the record, it took less than half an hour for Clark and Chris Adcock to wrap up England's fourth win against the Falklands by 21-3 21-7 against Douglas Clark and Michael Stewart.
And it was a similar length of time with which Clark and Robertson won the fourth encounter in the clean sweep against Uganda with a relaxed straight games win over Wilson Tukire and Brian Suuna.
"They weren't the toughest matches of my life, but this tournament is about the smaller nations getting a chance as well," Clark said.
But this was still an occasion England's centurion will always remember.... England now have to beat Mauritius on Wednesday and Canada on Thursday to be sure of winning their group.
It's beginning to look like a quarter-final against Scotland. If England were to win that it would probably be a semi-final against India, the second seeds.
England 5 Uganda 0
Malaysia continued their relentless march in the team event of the 2010 Commonwealth Games as they blanked Seychelles 5-0, their second win on day one of the badminton competition at the Siri Fort Stadium.
Also registering their second successive win of the day were England who defeated Uganda 5-0 with Anthony Clark playing his 100 match of his career.
Malaysia rested Lee Chong Wei and the task of delivering the first point fell to Muhd Hafiz Hashim who duly delivered, defeating Kervin Herbert Ghishlan 21-9, 21-11.
Also rested was Malaysia's top singles player, Wong Mew Choo and in her place was Lydia Cheah. And the youngster had no problems easing past Juliette Chantal Ah-Wan 21-7, 21-14. The rest of the matches were a mere formality for the Malaysians.
Chong Wei will also be rested in their match against Nigeria on Tuesday and is only expected to take to the courts again on Wednesday, against Australia.
And while watching Hafiz in action, Chong Wei spoke about his team mate, hoping that he will play well in the individual event next week, as they both try to make it an all Malaysian final.
“That will be good for his career as Hafiz needs a boost. He has been working hard in training and I really hope his tough work pays dividends with a podium finish here in New Delhi,” said Chong Wei.
But while hoping for Malaysia to do well, the world number one was impressed with the increasing number of countries and players participating in the badminton event in New Delhi.
“This is good for the sport as its truly becoming a global sports with so many countries showing interest in the sport,” said Chong Wei who has been the world number one for the last 25 months.
“Every effort should be made to promote the sport world wide and I will be glad to help the sport grow.
In other matches, Singapore defeated Jamaica 5-0 to make it two wins out of two and look set to top Group B while Sri Lanka got the better of Northern Ireland winning 5-0 as well. Also registering their first win was Mauritius who defeated Falkland Islands 5-0.
England 5 Uganda 0
MS: Rajiv Ouseph bt Edwin Ekiring 21-10 21-9.
WS: Elizabeth Cann bt Magaret Nankabirwa 21-11 21-7.
MD: Nathan Robertson & Anthony Clark bt Brian Ssuuna & Wilson Tukire 21-10 21-8.
WD: Jenny Wallwork & Gabby White bt Bridget Shamin Bangi & Margaret Nankabirwa 21-2 21-4.
Mx: Nathan Robertson & Jenny Wallwork bt K Wogute & GC Najjuka 21-10 21-7.