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Badminton / All-England Championships: Clark's dream runs out of steam

GILL CLARK'S hopes of reaching the third All-England final of her career came to nothing for the second time in two nights when she and Nick Ponting, the English National Mixed Doubles champions, were beaten in the semi-finals at Wembley yesterday, writes James Leigh.

Clark, who injured an ankle in practice before her unexpected third-round women's doubles defeat in partnership with Gillian Gowers on Thursday, went down last night to a 15-6, 15-8 defeat at the hands of Jo Holst-Christensen and Greta Mogensen, the world bronze medallists.

The two Danes have reformed their partnership after Mogensen announced her retirement last year and Holst- Christensen spent many hours on the telephone persuading her to change her mind. The pair now look serious challengers for a title not only today but in two months' time at the world championships in Birmingham.

However, their opponents in the final are the top seeds, Thomas Lund of Denmark and Catrine Bengtsson, of Sweden, who easily ended the fine run of England's bright new hopes Chris Hunt and Joanne Wright 15-5, 15-3. The British pair won a thrilling quarter-final when they beat Jan Paulsen and Lotte Olsen, from Denmark, 17-14, 12- 15, 15-13.

The Olympic champion, Susi Susanti, reached the women's final, gaining an 11-1, 11-5 revenge over Ye Zhaoying, the Chinese teenager who beat her in the second round last year.