Badminton: Hall extends title record

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The Independent Online
DARREN HALL extended his record of English national titles to seven by overcoming Peter Knowles 15-3, 15-13 at Norwich yesterday, writes James Leigh.

Hall was playing his ninth successive final, whereas it was Knowles's first. The difference in experience was crucial, especially in the second game.

Knowles almost reached 13- 10 with a deft net shot, but Hall produced a tumbling hairpin which ran down the other side of the net and within minutes had clinched the match.

Hall had earlier reached his ninth successive final in controversial circumstances. His semi- final opponent, Peter Bush, withdrew on Saturday with ankle injury and yet was reported to have been playing in a Danish league match yesterday. This gave Hall a day's rest, while Knowles had to play a semi-final in the morning.

The other top-seeded title holder, Suzanne Louis-Lane, also won, overcoming Fiona Smith, the Commonwealth champion, 11-4, 11-1 in a repeat of last year's final.