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(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Mark Caljouw gets redemption
Date: 7/26/2021 1:08 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
In one of the biggest upsets at the 2019 European Games, Misha Zilberman defeated Mark Caljouw to make it onto the podium. This week at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, they met again. 

The higher-ranked Dutchman was the favourite to win in Minsk two years ago, but the experienced Israeli was able to deliver under pressure. When the memory is brought up, this match is a sore point for Caljouw. Knowing that he was so close to the medals and that on paper he should have been on the podium. 

The match today was the long-awaited rematch and it had even extra weight to it as Zilberman, the European Games bronze medallist, defeated the seeded player in group D, India’s Sai Praneeth. This opened up the group significantly – if Zilberman won, he’s through, and if Caljouw took the win, he would be in control of his fate when facing Sai Praneeth in the final match. 

-It was a surprise but it didn't change much for me. I knew I had to win both of my matches to go through, said Mark Caljouw. 

The comeback
Zilberman took an early initiative. Perhaps having played already gave him confidence in his shots and granted him the first game, 21-17. 

After some close early exchanges in the second game, Caljouw got into his groove and flew away with the game, 21-9. The man in orange then carried over this momentum and led 7-0 and then 11-2 at the change of ends in the decider. Caljouw did not look back after this and won the final game 21-10.

-It was a shaky start at the beginning. I don't think I handled his style in the first game and he played well. But I kept fighting like I always do, and I knew that if it was a long match I am fitter, stated Caljouw.

-I was tired today from the first match. He was fresher. I tried to go all out in the first game. But he played well and hit all the lines, explained Zilberman.
 
Supporting India
On progressing to the knockout rounds, Zilberman said. 

-I have to see what happens in two days time and now I will cheer for India.

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