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September 18, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - At the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, India's Aparna Popat defeated Ng Mee Fen, the youthful Malaysian women's singles player who yesterday had raised the host team's hopes for a medal in the women's individual events with her upset win over the third-seeded Li Feng of New Zealand. Popat, whose claim to badminton fame so far lies in a world junior championships silver medal, beat a determined Ng 11-7 and 13-10 in a quarterfinal match today.

Malaysia's women though did get a guaranteed individual event medal in doubles when the seventh-seeded pair of Chor Hooi Yee and Lim Pek Siah upended the second seeds from Australia, Rhonda Cator and Amanda Hardy, 14-17, 15-4 and 15-9 in the quarterfinals.

Badminton-crazy Malaysia has always had world-class male players going back to the late 1940's when they won the first of their five Thomas Cup titles, but have never had much international success in the women's events. At this Commonwealth Games, they have already taken a silver medal in the women's team contest and have won at least a bronze medal in women's doubles.

In the men's singles events, Malaysians Yong Hock Kin and Wong Choon Hann, the two top picks left after injured first seed Ong Ewe Hock withdrew, have gone thru to the quarterfinals with easy wins today. Yong beat Geraint Lewis of Wales 15-3 and 15-2. Wong defeated another Welsh player, Richard Vaughan, 15-6 and 15-9.

It was not all gloom though for the men from Wales. The unseeded John Leung, who had almost written off his chances after he was injured in a freak accident before the start of the team contest last week, upset the eight seed from Australia, Stuart Brehaut, 15-11 and 15-10 to go through to the elite eight.

Eleventh seed Mark Constable of England also went thru to the quarterfinals, beating sixth seed Geoffrey Bellingham of New Zealand 15-3 and 15-11 in an unusual match. In the second game, Bellingham was leading 11-10 when he tore up one of his shoes.

International competition players usually come to a tournament with several pairs and Bellingham had come to Kuala Lumpur with three sets. He had however ripped two shoes in previous matches and now had no spares left. He was forced to play with one foot in a shoe and the other only in a sock while the Kiwi team manager went to get another pair.

Constable then easily took 4 points from the hobbled Kiwi to reach match point 14-11. Finally, the new pair came but it was too late for Bellingham.

England was dominant in the mixed doubles quarterfinals, putting three entries through the semifinals with three medals already guaranteed. Top seeds Simon Archer and Joanne Goode beat Kiwis Daniel Shirley and Sheree Jefferson 15-5 and 15-6. Second seeds Chris Hunt and Donna Kellogg put out Dean Galt and Tammy Jenkins of New Zealand 15-3 and 15-2. Non-seeds Nathan Robertson and Joanne Davies defeated Aussies Murray Hocking and Amanda Hardy 15-6 and 15-6.

Australians Peter Blackburn and Rhonda Cator, the fourth seeds, joined the three English pairs in the semifinals. They beat Wong Choon Hann and Chor Hooi Yee of Malaysia 15-13, 1-15 and 15-7 in their quarterfinal match.

In the women's singles quarterfinals, top seed Kelly Morgan of Wales defeated Zarinah Abdullah of Singapore 11-5 and 11-3. Second seed Julia Mann of England beat Anne Gibson of Scotland 11-3 and 11-7. Seventh seed Tracey Hallam, also of England, outlasted Kiwi Rhona Robertson 11-9, 8-11 and 11-9.

Morgan will play Hallam and Mann will battle Popat in tomorrow's final four.

In the women's doubles quarterfinals, Scotland's Elinor Middlemiss and Sandra Watt, the fourth seeds, gutted it out to make it through to the semifinals and at least a bronze medal. Watt was playing with a fractured thumb in her racket hand and Middlemiss had a pulled thigh muscle. The two Scots played well in spite of their injuries and beat Norashikin Amin and Joanne Quay of Malaysia 15-1 and 15-6.

Top seeds Joanne Goode and Donna Kellogg of England eliminated Denyse Julien and Charmaine Reid of Canada 15-7 and 15-5. Third seeds Tammy Jenkins and Rhona Robertson of New Zealand beat England's Joanne Davies and Sara Sankey 15-12 and 15-4.

Goode and Kellogg will play Middlemiss and Watt in tomorrow's semifinals. Jenkins and Robertson will face Chor and Lim of Malaysia.

Following are the results of some of the other matches today:

Fourth Round
Nicholas Hall (New Zealand) beat Stuart Arthur (Canada) 15-3, 15-2
Darren Hall (England) beat Nikhil Kanetkar (India) 15-6, 7-15, 15-5
Bruce Flockhart (Scotland) beat Bobby Milroy (Canada) 15-9, 15-11
Pullela Gopi Chand (India) beat Ali Yar Beg (Pakistan) 15-2, 15-1

Third Round
Dean Galt/Tammy Jenkins (New Zealand) beat Mark Nichols/Kate Wilson-Smith (Australia) 15-10, 15-0
Murray Hocking/Amanda Hardy (Australia) beat Geoffrey Bellingham/Rebecca Gordon (New Zealand) 15-2, 15-3
Christopher Hunt/Donna Kellogg (England) beat Darryl Yung/Robbyn Hermitage (Canada) - walkover
Daniel Shirley/Sheree Jefferson (New Zealand) beat Stephan Beeharry/Marie Pierre (Mauritius) 15-2, 15-4
Nathan Robertson/Joanne Davies (England) beat Bryan Moody/Milaine Cloutier (Canada) 15-2, 15-2
Simon Archer/Joanne Goode (England) beat Cheah Soon Kit/Joanne Quay (Malaysia) 15-5, 15-7
Peter Blackburn/Rhonda Cator (Australia) beat Markose Bristow/Archana Deodhar (India) 15-4, 15-7
Wong Choong Hann/Chor Hooi Yee (Malaysia) beat Iain Sydie/Denyse Julien (Canada) 15-7, 15-11

Third Round
David Bamford/Peter Blackburn (Australia) beat Russell Hogg/Kenneth Middlemiss (Scotland) 12-15, 15-11, 15-5
Nathan Robertson/Julian Robertson (England) beat Mark Nichols/Murray Hocking (Australia) 15-3, 10-15, 15-6
Michael Beres/Bryan Moody (Canada) beat Nicholas Hall/Antonio Gargiulo (New Zealand) 15-9, 15-3
Cheah Soon Kit/Yap Kim Hock (Malaysia) beat Geenesh Dussain/Stephan Beeharry (Mauritius) 15-4, 15-5
Choong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah (Malaysia) beat Eduoard Clarisse/Denis Constantin (Mauritius) 15-2, 15-7
Vincent Lobo/Jaseel Ismail (India) beat Craig Robertson/Alastair Gatt (Scotland) 7-15, 15-7, 15-12