Badminton: Clark signs off on a winning note

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The Independent Online
Gill Clark could hardly have picked a better follow up to the record 144th cap she achieved at St Austell on Sunday, finishing her long career with a victory against China before the biggest and most demonstrative crowd of the six-match tour.

Clark also helped England to win the final match 4-1 at Maidenhead last night, reducing China's winning margin in the series to 4-2.

But the most memorable moment by far came after the second contest of an emotional evening in which Clark and Chris Hunt beat Liu Wong and Yao Jie 15-2, 15-7.

There were two speeches, two standing ovations, bouquets and champagne and a TV interview on court, obliging the English national champion, Darren Hall, and the world junior champion, Chen Gang, to wait before producing another excellent men's singles.

Clark, meanwhile, had begun her match edgily but produced some subtle and decisive touches at the net once Hunt started to play well.

For the record, Hall won in three games against Chen and England's winning lead on the night was supplied by Joanne Wright and Julie Bradbury.

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