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

October 28, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - The Atlanta Olympic gold medalists in badminton men's doubles, Indonesians Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky, return to action this week at the China Open in Dong Guan, Guandong, China.

The Olympic champions have not seen any international competition together since they won the cherished gold medals in Atlanta in early August. Subagja did play in the Indonesian national championships with a different partner while Rexy took time off and is said to have gotten married. Rexy was also reported to have been seriously considering retirement from international competition.

Also seeing international competition after a post-Olympic vacation is the men's singles silver medalist from China, Dong Jiong.

This China Open is an important event for Dong. Aside from the China Open being his country's major badminton event, Dong is in danger of not qualifying for the big-money (for badminton) Grand Prix Finals in December. Although he is rated third in the world, Dong is only ranked in the low 20's in the 1996 Grand Prix standings with only one Grand Prix tournament appearance this year. With spots available for only the top 16 players in the men's singles event, Dong could miss out on the Grand Prix Finals unless he obtains final four or better finishes in the China Open and in at least one of the few remaining major tournaments.

Ricky and Rexy, and Dong are seeded first in their respective events.

Many of the top Indonesian, Korean and Malaysian male players are giving the China Open a bye. So are most of the top Danes, although the men's doubles pair of Michael Sogaard and Henrik Svarrer will be in Guangdong to carry the white and red colors of Denmark.

The top Indonesian entries in the men's singles come from the Indonesian talent team - Indra Wijaya and Budi Santoso.

The Koreans will be represented by Kim Hak Kyun and Hwang Sun Ho in the men's singles and by the team of Ha Tae Kwon and Kang Kyung Jin in the men's doubles.

Copyright (c) 1996 by NEW SHUTTLENWS
(e-mail: n.shutlenws@genie.com)