Badminton: Butler's brave effort goes unrewarded

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The Independent Online
STEVE BUTLER gave a surprise to the Olympic champion before bidding goodbye to his last world championships in front of his home Warwickshire crowd yesterday, writes James Leigh from Birmingham. He snatched the first game from the Barcelona gold medallist Allan Budi Kusuma before losing to the Indonesian 14-17, 15-9, 15-0 in the fourth round at the National Indoor Arena here.

Butler, the hero of England's Thomas Cup bronze medal nine years ago, was as hard-working and brave now as he was then. However, the bad back which almost caused him to withdraw from the tournament had affected his training and match practice and he ran out of steam.

Another Indonesian, the top- seeded All England champion Heryanto Arbi, was even closer to a surprise exit. The man nicknamed Jumping Jack for his spectacular Wembley performance 10 weeks ago trailed 13-8 in the final game to the Malaysian, Ong Ewe Hok, and was match point down at 14-12. Three smashes repelled the danger and Arbi went on to snatch a 15-12,

11-15, 17-14 victory.

All seven English men's and women's singles players went out in the fourth round, including the national champion, Darren Hall, who had been seeded to reach the last 16 but who let slip a lead of a game and 13-10 against Thailand's Sompol Kukasemkig and lost 8-15, 18-15, 15-4.