Gopichand beats Ponsana to enter quarterfinals

India's ace shuttler Pullela Gopichand had some anxious moments before registering a 17-15, 15-6 win over his Thai opponent, Boonsak Ponsana, to move into the q

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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India's ace shuttler Pullela Gopichand overcame some anxious moments before quelling the challenge of his Thai opponent to move into the quarterfinals of the badminton singles in the Asian Games. Gopichand, who appeared a trifle tentative in the early stages of the contest, had to dig deep into his reserves in the first game but got into his groove soon after to register a victory over Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana to keep his medal hopes alive. The former All England champion will now clash with second seed Seung Mo Shon of South Korea on Saturday for a place in the semifinals. Ponsana started off well by keeping the pressure on Gopichand as the two players went neck and neck till 15-15 in the first game. But the Thai could not keep his nerve in the crucial stages. Gopichand had only himself to blame for making things difficult. He committed a number of unforced errors in the first game and was lucky to scrape through. But the story was quite different in the second game as the Indian lifted his performance a few notches giving Ponsana no chance at all to stage a comeback. (PTI)