Fifty powers on in the Commonwealth men’s singles

Toby Penty is still firmly in the hunt for a Commonwealth medal at the halfway stage of the men’s singles.

The English shuttler has continued his good form from the mixed team event, to progress to the last eight.

Having received a bye in the first round due to his status as sixth seed in the competition, First up for Penty was Australian Nathan Tang.

In front of a raucous home crowd at the NEC in Solihull, the home favorite had too much for the world number 313, securing a comfortable 21-11, 21-7 win.

That set-up a battle of Britain in the second round with Penty taking on Scotland’s talented youngster Callum Smith.

The first ever meeting between the pair was closely fought, with Penty made to work in the opening game and saving four game points for the Scot before eventually prevailing.

The second was more routine as the 29-year-old rounded off a 25-23, 21-12 victory to make the quarters.

“I think I was quite lucky to get through that first set but it was the big difference,” said Penty.

“If I’d lost that first set, it’s quite a long way [back]. To get that first set over the line was big.

“It helped relax me and maybe took away a bit of his belief and confidence.

“It was a bit of a nervy one, always something a bit different about playing someone from the home countries.

“I just don’t think I ever got going, it was a bit of a struggle today, I woke up feeling a little bit heavier in my legs and I just couldn’t get going the way I wanted to in the first set. “

On Saturday evening, he faces his toughest opponent yet, Indian third seed Srikanth Kidambi, who reached the final of the World Championship just nine months ago.

England’s other competitor in the singles, debutant Freya Patel-Redfearn, was not quite able to also reach the last eight.

However, she can be proud of some excellent performances, following on from impressing in the mixed team event and gaining valuable experience at a major multi-sport Games for the first time.

A wonderful 21-11, 21-12, win over 2021 African champion Johanita Scholtz sent her into the last 32.

And with the 21-year-old’s confidence only growing, she then swatted aside Suhasni Vidanage of Sri Lanka 21-11, 21-14, as her Birmingham adventure continued.

The run was only ended by world no. 19 Yeo Jia Min in the last 16, who had also beaten her in the mixed team event, but overall it has been an encouraging week for the young shuttler.

“I have got a long way to go but I have definitely learned a lot from this week,” she said. “There are a lot of positives to take away overall.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button