Chris Langridge-Heather Olver celebrates after beating Chan Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing in the mixed doubles semi-final on Saturday.
GLASGOW: There was a combination of factors that led to the defeats of Malaysian shuttlers Chan Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing in the mixed doubles semi-finals at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
But the one thing that stood out like a sore thumb was the poor umpiring.
On Saturday, Peng Soon-Pei Jing’s hopes of reaching the final were dashed in controversial fashion at the Emirates Arena.
The Malaysians lost 15-21, 22-20, 13-21 to England’s Chris Langridge-Heather Olver.
The final will be an all-England affair with Langridge-Olver taking on Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock.
A dejected Peng Soon could not resist taking a swipe at umpire Mike Walker of Canada while Pei Jing was so emotional that she did not even want to talk about it.
“I hope that they will get better umpires in the future ... he (Walker) made ridiculous calls,” said Peng Soon.
“We were leading 20-19 when the shuttle touched both the English players’ racquets. We celebrated and all of us walked out.
“The umpire, however, had other plans. He called us back and gave the point to them.”
This time the Malaysians fought their way to win 22-20.
Walker was guilty of giving a let when he should be giving points. Even, Langridge was upset with one of his calls.
But the one that broke the Malaysian spirit was when Walker insisted that the shuttle had touched Peng Soon when the score stood at 5-2 in England’s favour in the rubber game.
“It did not touch me at all. Even the English pair knew it and did not protest. The score went to 6-2 and, after that, it just went downhill for us.”
Peng Soon, however, admitted that they were also sluggish and slower in their movements compared to the way they played en route to upsetting second seeds Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Vanessa Neo of Singapore in the quarter-finals on Friday.
One of the reasons could be because Pei Jing had also played in the women’s doubles quarter-finals with Lim Yin Loo on Friday.
Pei Jing-Yin Loo were on court for more than an hour en route to ousting top seeds Shinta Mulia Sari-Yao Lei of Singapore.
“Today, we were the first to play. Pei Jing was tired. Our movements were slower. The English pair upped their tempo today,” said Peng Soon. “We had the best draw. We did well to reach the semi-finals … but it was just not our day.”
Later in the bronze medal playoff, Peng Soon-Pei Jing gave a good fight in the opening game before running out of steam.
They lost 17-21, 11-21 to local stars Robert Blair-Imogen Bankier.
Malaysia also failed to collect a bronze in the women’s singles when Tee Jing Yi lost 21-23, 9-21 to India’s P.V Sindhu.