Heartbreak as Rachel-Aifa and Yiwen-Ainaa fail to enter final

Halted: Rachel Arnold and Aifa Azman in action against England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters during the women’s doubles semi-final. — Reuters

A DREAM final in the women’s doubles evaporated as Rachel Arnold-Aifa Azman and Chan Yiwen-Ainaa Amani Ampandi will now be battling for the bronze medal at the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre today.

Rachel-Aifa’s gallant run was halted by England’s second seeds Sarah-Jane Perry-Alison Waters who came from behind to win 8-11, 11-6, 11-9 in the semi-finals.

Debutants Yiwen-Ainaa could not reproduce their giant-killing act when they lost 11-9, 11-7 to defending champions Joelle King-Amanda-Landers Murphy of New Zealand.

Yiwen-Ainaa had produced the shock of the tournament in Saturday’s quarter-finals when they toppled world champions and top seeds Joshna Chinappa-Dipika Pallikal-Karthik of India.

Rachel-Aifa had outplayed joint third seeds Rachael Grinham-Doinna Lobban of Australia in three games in the last eight to ensure Malaysia are confirmed of a medal for the first time in the doubles.

National director of coaching and the Games team manager Major (rtd) S. Maniam was full of praise for his girls.

“Overall, I am proud of the girls.

“They came up against marginally better pairs today (yesterday). We did have our chances but we did not take them,” said Maniam.

The two pairs will be involved in the bronze medal playoff today and it would be a pity as one of the combination will have to return empty-handed despite their heroics.

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