Zhang and Peng, Thomsen and Stuer in Doubles Semis
by Mike Grossman (from reports filed by J. Chang and YANG YANG Badminton Equipment)

November 14, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - Rising Chinese women's singles star Wang Chen today beat compatriot Cai Jian in one of the quarterfinal matches at the Thailand Open being held in the Nimbutr Gymnasium in Bangkok to qualify for the semifinals. Wang trounced Cai soundly, allowing her opponent to tally only 4 points in the match, 1 in the first game and 3 in the second.

Wang will face Ra Kyung Min of Korea in her semifinal match. Ra made it into the semis when Mia Audina of Indonesia injured her right knee in their quarterfinal encounter.

The other women's singles semifinal will feature Susi Susanti of Indonesia against Kim Ji Hyun of Korea, a rematch of the bronze medal playoff at the Atlanta Olympics. Susanti easily beat Kim in that encounter.

In women's doubles, 3-4 seeds Marlene Thomsen and Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen of Denmark defeated 5-8 seeds Park Soo Yun and Kim Mee Hyang of Korea to book a place in the semifinals. The Danes started off like a house on fire in their match against Park and Kim, taking the first game 15-1. The embarassed Korean women put up more of a fight in the second and took the game into setting at 14-all. Thomsen and Stuer managed to blank the Koreans in the 3-point tiebreak to end the match.

Thomsen and Stuer will now battle 5-8 seeds Zhang Jin and Peng Xingyong of China who waltzed into the semifinals courtesy of the withdrawal of top seeds Zelin and Eliza of Indonesia.

In the other women's doubles semifinal, second-seeds Qin Yiyuan and Tang Yongshu of China, 15-8 and 15-2 semifinal victors over compatriots Chen Jiao and Peng Jie, will face 3-4 seeds Denyana Lomban and Isoliana Indarti of Indonesia.

In the men's singles semifinals, it will be top-seed Joko Suprianto of Indonesia against 3-4 seed Rashid Sidek of Malaysia and second-seed Dong Jiong of China against 9-16 seed Soren Nielsen of Denmark or 9-16 seed Hwang Sun Ho of Korea (There are conflicting reports as to who won the quarterfinal between Nielsen and Hwang. The score in the match was 15-11 and 18-13).

In his quarterfinal match against Alan Budi Kusuma of Indonesia, Dong was absolutely in form and devastated the 1992 Olympic gold medalist 15-3 and 15-4. Dong's trademark leaping forehand strokes that turn into powerful smashes, delicate drops, or deep clears at the last possible moment coupled with excellent court coverage on defense proved too much for the Indonesian. Kusuma did not help his cause any with his erratic play, specially on his smash attack.

The men's doubles semifinals will pit the hot Indonesian pair of Sigit (Budiarto) and Chandra Wijaya, winners of the recent U.S. and China Opens, against homecrowd favorites Khunakorn Sudhisodhi and Siripong Siripool in one matchup, and Malaysians Lee Wan Wah and Choong Tan Fook against Koreans Ha Tae Kwon and Kang Kyung Jin.

The mixed doubles have already reached the final stage. The top world pair of Trikus Heryanto and Minarti Timur will play Nimpele Flandy and Rosalina Riseu in an all-Indonesia championship match.