There will be a new name on the English national badminton championship women’s singles trophy as five-time champion Elizabeth Cann limped out before the semi-finals.
The 33-year-old, from Jersey, was trailing to seventh-seed Fontaine Chapman by a game (23-21) and was 15-9 down before deciding to call it quits due to a back injury.
And Chapman went one better when she beat fourth-seed Panuga Riou (21-14, 21-18) in the semi-finals to book a clash with third-ranked Sarah Walker, and the Coventry-based finalist was delighted.
“I can’t believe it – I’m in the final,” said Chapman, who is returning from a back injury herself.
“I’m just really excited about the opportunity, I got to the semis when I was 18 and that was a little bit nerve-wracking.
“This has been the main focus for me – all my tournaments and all my preparation has been for this.
“It was a bit of a bittersweet ending, I wanted to finish that and get to 21 but I’ve been there with injuries, it is difficult.
“I had a big lead and you question whether it’s worth carrying, I could sympathise with her.”
Walker, from Essex but based at badminton's national headquarters in Milton Keynes, came past Sarah Milne 21-16, 17-21, 21-18 to seal her second final appearance in three years.
There was an upset in the mixed doubles as Chris Adcock and Gabrielle White were knocked out at the semi-final stage by Marcus Ellis and Alyssa Lim.
The pair, who stated their Olympic ambitions before the competition, were beaten in straight sets 21-17, 21-19, but remained realistic about the tournament’s standing in their long-term plans.
“I’m not upbeat, but at the end of the day, this is a tournament building up to other tournaments,” said Adcock.
“There’s not much I can take away today, but we can learn from mistakes for bigger events.”
Rajiv Ouseph will meet long-term rival and doubles partner Carl Baxter in the final of the men’s singles.
The 26-year-old five-times champion easily dispatched Alex Lane 21-13, 21-15 before doing a similar job on fifth-seed Jamie Bonsels (21-4, 21-10) in the semi-final.
Baxter beat Josh Green 21-12, 21-11 to set-up the final against Ouseph, but both men lost to Adock and Ellis in the semi-finals of the men’s doubles.
White and partner Lauren Smith will face Marian Agathangelou and Heather Olver in the final of the women’s doubles.
© Sportsbeat 2013