September 2006 All News
Three bronzes at least for England in Madrid
Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms are through to the semi-finals at the World Championships in Madrid on one of the best days for England in world championship history.
Anthony Clark is assured at least two bronzes - with Robert Blair and Donna Kellogg - as England produced their best results at a world championships for 23 years.
Back in 1983 Nora Perry took gold with Thomas Kihlstrom of Sweden, Perry and Jane Webster won silver in the doubles while Gill Clark and Gilll Gilks took bronze, and Helen Troke took bronze in the singles.
Today in Madrid only Commonwealth champion Tracey Hallam missed out among the four contenders who began quarter-finals day - and she can still be proud of her efforts.
Robertson and Emms, the Olympic silver and Commonwealth gold medallists beat Denmark's Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Juhl 21-14, 21-17 and now meet Thailand's Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thungthongkam.
Blair and Clark went though15- 21, 21-16, 21-17 against Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia and they now meet Denmark's Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen for a place in the final.
Clark and Blair were first on the medal trail - and Clark and Kellogg finished the job when they beat Robertson and Emms' Athens conquerors Zhang Jun and Gao Ling in straight games in what Donna described as "the best win of their career."
Clark said of is men's doubles effort: "We went out and were really positive. This is the reward as all the hard work over the last 10 paid off. They were superb in the first set but we turned it round on them."
Blair added: "To win a bronze is great, fantastic. To win a medal, that's what we came here for. It's a first time for both of us at the worlds."
It's also England's first world medals since 1999 when Robertson and Simon Archer took bronze and Archer and Jo Goode won silver.
She said: "It's not quite sunk in but it's one of the best performances of our career. To get to the semi-finals is unbelievable."
Clark added: "It's a dream come true. Me and Donna have worked so hard to get so far but the job's not done yet."
Next they face Malaysia's Koo Kien Keat and Wong Pei Tty.
.Commonwealth champion Tracey Hallam put up a brave fight against top seed and Olympic champion Zhang Ning but after taking the first game 22-20 she was hampered by an ankle injury and went out in the quarter-finals 21-10, 21-10.
She said: "I am pleased I took a game off her but after the first it went downhill a bit. I hurt my ankle and I found it difficult to move."
12 noon: Clark & Kellogg v Koo Kien Keat & Wong Pei Tty (Malaysia)
3rd match: Robertson & Emms v Sudket Prapakamol & Saralee Thoungthongkam
8th match: Clark & Blair v Lars Paaske & Jonas Rasmussen (Denmark)
To follow the scores check out www.06worlds.com