Second-seeded New Zealanders Martin Knight and Joelle King bowed out of the gold medal race in the mixed doubles when they lost their semi-final to the English pairing of Peter Barker and Alison Waters 11-3, 11-6 today.
The English had good credentials – the left-handed Barker was third in the men’s singles and Waters was fourth in the women’s singles, beaten for the bronze by King. However, the New Zealanders did not strike their best form, making too many errors.
The first game was all over in nine minutes and though Knight and King got closer in the second game, which lasted 22 minutes, they were just not sharp enough.
Barker was the dominant player in the match, forcing the play and hitting several winners.
“We didn’t start very well,” New Zealand team manager Dave Clark said. “Martin and Joelle changed their plan a bit in the second and fought to 5-5 or 6-6, but you have to credit the English team for how well they played.”
Knight and King will play the Australian team of Cameron Pilley and Kasey Brown for the bronze medal tomorrow. The match will be a repeat of the gold medal match in Delhi four years ago.