Neha Aggarwal crashes out of Olympics

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{image-neha aggarwal_18082008.jpg}Beijing, Aug 18: Young Neha Aggarwal's tryst with Olympic lasted precisely 34 minutes as India's lone woman paddler in Beijing began with a bang before running out of steam to crash out with a first round defeat here today.

The Delhi teen, playing an opponent almost twice her age, lost 12-10, 8-11, 11-13, 8-11 and 4-11 to Chinese-born Australian Jian Fang Lay in little more than half an hour to bid goodbye to Beijing. Having lost her previous two matches against the 35-year-old Australian, Neha looked determined to settle score this time and went neck-and-neck in the first game till they were levelled at 8-8.

The Indian soon broke loose, much to the surprise of the Australian, to pocket the game in five minutes and go one up in the match.

In the second game too, Neha looked sharp as she raced to a 4-2 lead before the Chinese turned the table and eventually overtook her.

Suddenly, Lay was attacking more and Neha could not withstand the onslaught and surrendered the game.

The third game followed the same script with Neha leading 10-8 before the Australian came from behind to grab the game and go 2-1 up in the match.

Clearly struggling with the deceptive returns of her Australian opponent, Neha once again lost momentum in the fourth game and from levelled at 8-8, she could only see as the Australian once again ran away with the game.

By the time the tie reached the fifth game, Neha had thrown in the towel. Cutting down on smashes made her a lesser force and Lay virtually ambled her way to win the game and the match.

''I think I played a decent match. Of course I could have done better and should have won it, but still I'm carrying a lot of positives,'' Neha said after the match.

''Having lost to her twice in the past, both were close matches.

I was determined to make amends this time but towards the end, things didn't go my way. Her backhand was better than mine and I was missing my smashes as well.

''She was hardly missing anything. All of a sudden, she came blazing all guns and I just could not cope with that,'' she said.

''Still it was overall a great experience and I'm happy that I tried my best,'' Neha added.

Asked if she was tired in the last game, the youngster said, ''Not really. But the first few points were very crucial for me and once they went her way, I think I stood no chance at all.

That upset my rhythm and I could not recover.''


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