Parupalli Kashyap played his heart out before going down fighting to world No 2 Lee Chong Wei in a gruelling quarter-final of the men's singles badminton event at the London Olympics on Thursday.
The Indian ace, who gave a heart-warming performance in the earlier round against Sri Lanka's Niluka Karunaratne , dived, smashed, retrieved almost everything thrown at him but still could not stop the top seeded Malaysian from scoring a 21-19, 21-11 victory to advance to the semi-finals at the Wembley Areana.
Chong Wei will meet countryman Chen Long while Lin Dan will clash with either Chen Jin or Lee Hyun II of Korea.
Kashyap dominated the first game initially and dictated the pace of the game to open up a 11-8 lead at the break.
But Chong Wei varied the pace of the rallies and clawed back to level the scores at 15-15.
Kashyap matched his superior opponent stroke for stroke and did not give up. In fact he even forged ahead at 19-18. But in the end it was the Malaysian's experience that forced him into commiting errors.
In the second game, Chong Wei got off with a flourish as he mixed his strokes beautifully and executed his smashes to perfection to floor Kashyap. He led 11-6 at the break.
The Indian showed some spark but in his pursuit to match the Malaysian's strokes, he ended up committing unforced errors.
With Chong Wei ahead 20-10, Kashyap saved a couple of points, but it was all over when his return went into the net.
Earlier, Saina Nehwal exhibited excellent court-craft and unflinching attitude to defeat senior opponent and two-time All England champion Tine Baun of Denmark 21-15, 22-20 in a pulsating quarter-final clash that lasted 37 minutes.
Photograph: Saurabh Das/AP