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Thailand's Ponsana Dashes Anand's Hopes of Home Glory

India's Chetan Anand fell short of an emotional victory on home soil when he lost to Thailand's Ponsana Boonsak in the final of the Indian Open in Hyderabad.

Anand had stunned the field and his army of fans by battling his way to the final of the men's singles competition.

However, he was unable to do anything against the Thai ace, who had beaten world number one Lin Dan on the way to the final.

It was humid inside the stadium on the day of the final, a factor that Anand said played a part in his 21-16, 21-12 defeat.

"The humidity resulted in the shuttle travelling very fast. I realised it quite late. But Ponsana knew it and played accordingly," Anand told local media.

"Moreover, I was slow. I failed to get the correct length and it showed as I had no control over my smashes. It is painful to disappoint so many fans. I will try to get over this loss and concentrate on the Asian championship."

Ponsana himself believed Anand failed to play his best and predicted a good career for the Indian ace.

"He is a very good player. I think he was under a lot of pressure which affected his game," said Ponsana.

The Indian Open was one of the final tournaments on the international calendar that went towards qualification for August's Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Asian Championships, in Johor Bahru, Malaysia next week, also has Olympic qualification points.

In the women's singles final, Hong Kong's Zhou Mi stunned world number three Lu Lan of China to win 21-14, 21-14.

The 11th-ranked Zhou is trying to qualify for the Olympics but is hindered by a residency ruling because she once represented her native China.

But she certainly proved that she is good enough to be in Beijing after disposing of Lu in only 34 minutes.

"Surprisingly, it was an easy match. My opponent was in bad form today," said Zhou.

China's He Hanbin and Yu Yang won the mixed doubles with a 21-18, 21-9 victory over Germany's Kristoff Hopp and Birgit Overzier.

China also won the men's doubles when Guo Zhengdong and Xie Zhongbo beat Malaysian pair Chew Choon Eng and Chan Chong Ming 19-21, 21-14, 21-12.

Taiwan won gold in the women's doubles after Chien Yu Chin and Cheng Weng Hsing defeated Japanese pairing Maedo Miyuki and Suetsun Satoko 21-17, 21-16 in the final.

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