Commonwealth Games: Gao and Yi march into table tennis mixed doubles semis, but Pang and Zhou fall to Indian pair

World No. 7 pair Gao Ning and Pang Xue Jie of Singapore are out of the Commonwealth Games men's doubles competition, following their loss to England's Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford in the quarter-finals on April 13, 2018.
World No. 7 pair Gao Ning and Pang Xue Jie of Singapore are out of the Commonwealth Games men's doubles competition, following their loss to England's Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford in the quarter-finals on April 13, 2018.ST PHOTO: LIM SAY HENG

GOLD COAST (Australia) - Singapore pair Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu have breezed into the Commonwealth Games mixed doubles semi-finals, following their 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 win over England's Samuel Walker and Denise Payet on Friday (April 13).

Barely half an hour after partnering Pang Xue Jie in their 7-11, 11-13, 16-14, 11-5, 8-11 loss to England's Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford in the men's quarter-finals, the 35-year-old Gao returned to the same hall at the Oxenford Studios to help Singapore secure progress to the last four.

But the Republic's pair of Pang and Zhou Yihan lost 6-11, 10-12, 12-14 to India's Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra in another quarter-final tie on an adjacent court.

Gao and Yu will face Sharath Achanta and Mouma Das in the last four on Saturday.

Gao said the mixed doubles tie was the easier of the two ties, and tried to brush off the earlier defeat ahead of his second match.

Of the men's doubles match, he said: "We played with a bit of anxiety while they played better at first. We were able to catch up later because they were a little too eager to win.

"But their backhand and positioning were better than us today."

Gao won this event at the 2014 Games in Glasgow with Li Hu, who is no longer in the team, and the silver in 2010 with Yang Zi.

However, Singapore will still be represented in the men's doubles semi-finals on the same day, after Ethan Poh and Koen Pang beat Nigeria's Quadri Aruna and Segun Toriola 11-13, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 in their quarter-final match.

Poh said: "It was a tough fight in the first few games. Once we had our game plan it was good, we had the upper hand."

The duo will meet Indian top seeds Sharath Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in the last four.