Malaysia’s hope Datuk Lee Chong Wei faces an Indian hurdle in H.S. Prannoy in the semi-finals in his quest for the men’s singles crown in his last Commonwealth Games.
The 35-year-old Malaysian, seeded second in Gold Coast breezed into the last four after defeating Singapore’s Penang-born Loh Kean Yew 21-13, 21-16 in 41 minutesin the quarter-finals on Friday.
Prannoy, who has beaten the Malaysian ace twice last year, stopped Sri Lanka’s Dinuka Karunaratna 21-13, 21-6 in 33 minutes.
Chong Wei is expected to make the gold medal match but Prannoy cannot be written off after the former world number one was beaten in straight games by top seed K. Srikanth 21-17, 21-14 in the mixed team final.
India are riding on a crest of success in badminton of late as Srikanth who is the new world No 1 in the latest BWF ranking list and in the process became the first Indian men’s singles to reach that far, plays England’s Rajiv Ouseph in the other semifinal.
It is left to be seen if Chong Wei and Rajiv can stop an all-India men’s singles final.
Srikanth strolled past Singapore’s Ryan Ng Zin Rei 21-15, 21-12 while Rajiv brushed aside Canada’s Jason Ho-Shue 21-14, 21-12.
Malaysia are also counting on former World No 1 Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong in the men’s singles after the duo made the last four with a 21-9, 21-17 win over Scotland’s Alexander Dunn-Adam Hall in 26 minutes.
In the semi-finals V Shem-Wee Kiong, who won Malaysia’s only point in the mixed team final against India, face England’s Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge. The English pair beat Singapore’s Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Terry Hee Yong Kai 21-18, 21-17.
Vivian Hoo, who won the women’s doubles gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 with Woon Khe Wei, is in the semifinals with Chow Mei Kuan. The pair defeated England’s Chloe Birch-Jessica Blagh 21-11, 21-6 in 36 minutes. Khe Wei did not make the trip to Gold Coast because of injury.
In the semi-finals the Malaysians will face India’s N. Sikki Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa who defeated Sri Lanka’s Hasini Ambalangodage-Maduka Dilrukshi Sirimannage 21-12, 21-16.
Another scratch Malaysian pair Soniia Cheah-Shevon Lai Jemie were shown the exit after 15-21, 16-21 defeat to Australians Satyana Mapasa-Gronya Somerville in the quarter-finals.
Soniia was also blown away in the women’s singles. The Malaysian hope lost 12-21, 19-21 to defending champion Michelle Li of Canada. 
Top seeds Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai suffered a shock defeat in their quarter-final match at the hands of India’s Satwik Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa 21-19, 21-19.
Malaysia stayed alive in mixed doubles through Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying – winning 21-17, 21-12 against India’s Pranaav Chopra-Nikki Reddy. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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