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Indonesian Yulianti marches into women's singles semifinal
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Maria Kristin Yulianti from Indonesia became the first shuttler to reach the semifinal in women's singles at Beijing Olympic badminton tournament, beating Indian talent Saina Nehwal 26-28, 21-14, 21-15  on Wednesday.

Maria Kristin Yulianti from Indonesia [Xinhua] 

Nehwal, ranked 15th, clinched the first-game win and took the lead in the third game by 11-3 with her powerful smashes.

The Indian who had set the best record for her country in badminton at the Olympic Games by entering the quarter-final, however, failed to penetrate the strong defence of the Indonesian and yielded the victory in the end.

"I don't know what happened," said the upset Indian who shouldered enormous pressure after her compatriot Abhinave Bindra won the men's 10m air rifle shooting Olympic gold medal, the first-ever individual Olympic gold for India.

"I could have played better, I could have won this match. Hopefully I will come well prepared and focused next time," said 18-year-old Nehwal.

Maria Kristin Yulianti from Indonesia [Xinhua] 

While Yulianti knew how to win the match.

"She was always attacking, so I had to be patient," said the 23-year-old. "Toward the end, it looked like she was rushing her shots."

On her expectations for the semi-final, probably against defending champion Zhang Ning from China, Yulianti said that the further the competition goes, the harder it gets obviously.

"I don't want my tournament to end in the next match, and I want to do the best that I possibly can," she said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2008)

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