by Mike Grossman (from a report filed by YANG YANG Badminton Equipment)

October 26, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - For the second tournament in a row, Ong Ewe Hock of Malaysia defeated the Olympic badminton men's singles champion from Denmark, Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen, in the semifinals of a major badminton tournament.

Ong beat the top-seeded Hoyer-Larsen in two tightly-contested games, 15-13 and 15-12, to oust the Olympic champion from the running at the German Open in Saarbrucken.

At the Danish Open last week in Middlefart, Ong had also beaten the highly-rated Dane in the semifinals 15-7, 7-15 and 15-9.

In the other men's singles semifinals, second-seed Rashid Sidek of Malaysia beat the Danish Open champion, Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen of Denmark, 15-11 and 15-7.

Sidek's win sets up an all-Malaysian final tomorrow with Sidek slightly favored to beat his compatriot Ong. If Sidek, whose major tournament victories have all taken place in Malaysia, wins the finals, he will finally be able to put to rest his reputation as the "kampung (Malaysian village) champion".

In the women's singles semifinals, the little known Chinese player, Yao Jie, continued her run from the ranks of the unseeded by defeating the 5th-to-8th seed, Mette Pedersen of Denmark, 12-10 and 11-4, to book a spot in the finals. The Chinese player had previously upset the top-seeded Yuliani Sentosa of Indonesia in the second round.

Yao will play Margit Borg of Sweden, the 11-6 and 11-3 winner over the Indonesian Yuni Kartika in the other semifinal.

In women's doubles semifinal play, the second-seeded Dutch pair of Eline Coene and Erica van den Heuvel beat the dangerous and upset-conscious tandem of Anne Mette Bille of Denmark and Margit Borg of Sweden, 15-7 and 15-10.

Bille and Borg had surprised the 3rd-and-4th seeds from Germany, Kerstin Ubben and Katrin Schmidt, in the quarterfinals.

Top-seeds Denyana Lomban and Isoliana Indarti of Indonesia easily defeated Marina Andrievskaya and Christine Gandrup of Sweden, 15-2 and 15-6, in the other semifinal.

In the mixed doubles championship match played today, Trikus Heryanto and Minarti Timur of Indonesia breezed past surprise finalists Jens Eriksen and Anne Mette Bille of Denmark 15-1 and 15-6.

Bille was playing with Eriksen in the tournament as a last-minute replacement for Eriksen's original partner, Marlene Thomsen. The scratch pairing had to play their way thru a gauntlet of seeded teams to make today's finals.

Copyright (c) 1996 by NEW SHUTTLENWS