by Mike Grossman (from reports filed by Jose Paolo Fontanilla and YANG YANG Badminton Equipment)

November 2, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - The Olympic champions from Indonesia, Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky, today fell short of the men's doubles title in their first international tourney since the Olympics - the China Open in Dong Guan, Guangdong.

The top-seeded pair were defeated by their younger compatriots, Chandra Wijaya and Sigit, in the finals held today.

The R-and-R team battled evenly with Wijaya and Sigit in the early going but the long post-Olympic layoff took its toll on the gold medalists. Wijaya and Sigit took a close first game from the tiring Subagja and Mainaky at 15-12 and then closed them out with some ease in the second at 15-5.

For Wijaya and Sigit, the China Open win is their second major title in as many tries. They had surprised the two other Olympic medalist pairs, Cheah and Yap of Malaysia (silver) and Antonius and Kantono of Indonesia (bronze), at the U.S. Open in September to take the crown at that major event.

In men's singles, 3-4 seeded Fung Permadi, the Chinese-Indonesian who now lives in and plays for Taiwan, beat Luo Yigang of China 15-12 and 15-9 to take the first major Grand Prix title of his career.

Fung had previously won several international events but never one at the 5-star level such as this China Open.

In the women's singles finals, Zhang Ning of China beat youthful compatriot Wang Chen 11-6 and 11-6 to also claim her first major Grand Prix title.

In the women's doubles championship match, Olympic bronze medalists Tang Yongshu and Qin Yiyuan had an easy first game against the scratch Korean team of Park Soo Yun and Kim Mee Hyang, winning it at 15-2. The Koreans made a match of it in the second but Tang and Qin managed to prevail at 15-12.

Chen Xingdong and Peng Xingyong captured the third title for the host nation when they defeated the top-seeded Danish pair of Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen 15-10 and 15-4 in the mixed doubles finale.

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