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Quintet of semi-finals await for England at Commonwealth Games

A fantastic five semi-finals await for England's badminton stars on the Gold Coast after another impressive day of singles and doubles action at the Commonwealth Games.

Defending mixed doubles champions Chris and Gabby Adcock are among them, one win away from a guaranteed medal.

Indeed, England are assured of a medal in the discipline with Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith also making it through, while Smith is in for a double dose of Saturday action as she and Sarah Walker made the women’s doubles last four.

The same could be said for Ellis, with he and Chris Langridge into the men’s doubles semi-finals, with European champion Rajiv Ouseph also one victory away from the final.

It wasn’t to be for Jess Pugh and Chloe Birch in the women’s doubles however, bowing out of the competition at the quarter-final stage.

But for the Adcocks, their Commonwealth title defence is still alive after easing past Australia’s Sawan Serasinghe and Setyana Mapasa to reach the last four.

Once again a straight games victory came their way, their third so far, with the home favourites providing a stern test as seventh seeds before the English duo closed out a 21-10 21-14 win.

“This was obviously a huge match today and we knew the crowd would be against us, so we didn’t want to give them a lead or let them be too close because we know how much a crowd can lift you through matches," said Gabby.

Malaysian eighth seeds Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying now stand between them and the final – where another English pair could be there to greet them.

That’s because Ellis and Smith are also into the business end of the mixed competition, the third seeds looking very convincing in their 21-17 21-13 win over Singapore’s Terry Hee Yong Kai and Tan Wei Han.

Once again this was the toughest test the Dutch Open champions have had to face, with India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa their opponents.

But one of the most intriguing semi-finals comes in the men’s singles where Ouseph has an absorbing tie coming his way against India’s Srikanth Kidambi.

The two have played three times previously with all being enticing affairs, with Kidambi the top seed for this competition, but the Englishman is not an opponent to be taken lightly.

That’s certainly been shown in his singles campaign so far, winning 21-14 21-12 in his latest outing against Jason Ho-Shue – the Canadian who was fifth seed for the competition.

"It was quite an important match, so I focused on myself and played as well as I could," he said.

England will also have semi-final representation in the men’s doubles thanks to Ellis and Langridge, another pair facing up to top seeds in Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong.

Like their compatriots, one win secures them a medal and a place in the gold-medal match, though defeat would not spell the end of their competition with bronze-medal matches in play in the Commonwealth Games.

But they won’t be thinking about that after another strong knockout performance, this time beating Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Hee 21-18 21-17.

Walker Smith

Straight-game victories became something of a habit for the English team on Friday, with Smith and Walker revelling in a repeat to take their own place in the final.

Thilini Pramodika Hendahewa and Kavidi Sirimannage of Sri Lanka were the pair defeated 21-12 21-16, with the challenge of the top seeds to come for a place in the final.

That’s in the shape of Mapasa and Gronya Somerville, the Australians also looking forward to playing on their home court.

But the English pair, who faced the same duo in the team event, are far from there to just make up the numbers.

Smith said: "Each game we have played, we have gone out and done the job – we are playing well and are ready for tomorrow."

Six English hopefuls entered the quarter-finals with five progressing, though Pugh and Birch weren’t able to add themselves to the mix as they fell to a 21-11 21-6 loss to Chow Mei Kuan and Vivian Hoo of Malaysia.

The remainder of the English contingent are back in semi-final action on Saturday, with the bronze-medal matches to follow later in the day – before the drama of the gold-medal matches on Sunday.

Pictures: Badminton Photo