THE Olympic challenge from Clarkston’s Susan Egelstaff’s came to an end on Tuesday despite putting in two strong performances.
The 29-year-old defeated Maja Tvrdy of Slovenia in straight games in her opening contest, and even shocked 12th seed Sayaka Sato by taking the first game of their group decider 21-18.
But the Japanese star hit back from 4-3 down in the second to level the contest, despite Egelstaff pulling back from 16-10 down to trail by just a point at 16-15.
Crucially, Egelstaff then left a shot which landed on the line, and it marked the start of a five point run for Sato to take the second game 21-16.
In the decider Egelstaff led 3-1 before Sato applied the pressure and started to edge clear, finally running out a 21-12 winner.
Egelstaff said: “Obviously I was disappointed to lose but I feel I gave it everything. I couldn’t have done anything more. I have played really well and I am pleased about that.
“On paper she was expected to beat me but it was nice for me to put up such a good fight — but if I was going to win, I think I knew I was going to have to win it in two.
“Even in the second and third games I don’t think I played badly. She was just obviously good enough to change her game.
“I can go away knowing I played as well as I could. It’s been great and it’s nice to have played well. It makes the whole experience that much better
“I will carry on for the Commonwealth Games. I have only thought about the Olympics for the last year. But yes, I will carry on. To play in a home Olympics and then play in a home Commonwealth Games in Glasgow — not many people can do that”.
The 29-year-old now plans to take some time out after rigorous preparation for London 2012.
She added: “I will have a little break now because obviously the whole qualifying period was pretty stressful. Now I can enjoy the second week and the whole Olympics experience.
“It was so good to get here....now I will move back into the village, see a few events and relax”.