Heryanto and Timur Capture Mixed Doubles Title
by Mike Grossman (from reports filed by J. Chang and Y.M. Fong)

November 15, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - The great Susi Susanti, one of the world's premier women's singles badminton player, lost today in a semifinal match at the Thailand Open in Bangkok. Susanti was defeated by Korean Kim Ji Hyun 11-3 and 12-9.

Indonesian observers said that, during the first game, Susanti seemed bothered by a draft of air that caused her high lob shots to land out-of-bounds and she was unable to utilize her usually winning formula of patient and extended clearing rallies.

After changing ends for the second game, Susanti was able to fight back. The two played to a tie at 9-all. At that point, Kim was able to take advantage of Susanti's lack of international tournament play during an extended post-Olympic Games layoff and tallied the three points that she needed for the victory.

Kim will now play Wang Chen of China in the finals. Wang defeated Ra Kyung Min of Korea in the other semifinal match 11-6 and 11-8.

In one of the men's singles finals, the veteran Joko Suprianto of Indonesia beat Rashid Sidek of Malaysia 15-9 and 15-7 to earn a spot in the finals.

In the first game of the Suprianto-Sidek encounter, the veteran took an early 2-0 lead. Sidek battled back to catch and pass Suprianto to lead at 6-3 with agressive tactics.

The Indonesian number one then took charge of the play and scored 6 points to Sidek's 3 to knot the game up 9-all. At this point, Suprianto was in control during the long rallies that marked this match. He tallied the next 6 markers with rally-ending drops or smashes to an out-positioned Sidek and won the first game.

The second game was tight early on with the two players exchanging points. With the game all tied at 3 apiece, Suprianto again gained control of the long rallies, moving Sidek all over the court as he spurted to a 7-3 lead.

Sidek never captured control of the game after that. All he could do was win the service back and perhaps score a point or two while Suprianto would tally several points when he was serving.

In the men's singles final, Suprianto will tangle with Dong Jiong of China, the 15-8 and 15-4 semifinal winner over Soren Nielsen of Denmark.

Dong was in the same top form that he was in during yesterday's one-sided victory over Indonesian Alan Budi Kusuma.

Dong opened the scoring in the first game with powerful leaping smashes that netted him 4 points quickly. Nielsen got 2 points back by keeping Dong pinned to the deep baseline where the leaping smashes did not have as much sting in them.

Dong moved the score to 7-3 on several Nielsen miscues, and then to 13-5 with combinations of deceptive leaping drops and smashes. Nielsen soldiered on to tally 4 points before Dong finished the game off with crosscourt smashes.

In the second game, it was Nielsen who gained a slight upper hand early to lead 2-0 against a coasting Dong. The Chinese ace then unloaded a barrage of powerful leaping smashes to catch Nielsen and grab a commanding 8-3 lead.

After Nielsen scored another point, Dong closed out the match with 7 markers on typical Dong Jiong play, 15-4.

In men's doubles, the newish but red-hot Indonesian pair of Sigit Budiarto and Chandra Wijaya made it to their third final in the 4 major tournaments that they have entered thus far. Sigit and Wijaya beat the Thai team of Khunakorn Sudhisodhi and Siripong Siripool 15-5 and 15-12 in their semifinal match.

In the other men's doubles semifinal, Korean Ha Tae Kwon and Kang Kyung Jin defeated Lee Wan Wah and Choong Tan Fook of Malaysia in a three gamer, 15-8, 10-15 and 15-8.

In women's doubles, another hot team, Marlene Thomsen and Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen of Denmark, winners at last week's Hong Kong Open, beat Zhang Jin and Peng Xingyong of China 15-11 and 15-12 to earn a chance at a second straight major title.

Standing in their way again are their finals opponents from last week, Denyana Lomban and Isoliana Indarti of Indonesia. Lomban and Indarti gained their spot in the finals with a minor upset over second-seeds Qin Yiyuan and Tang Yongshu of China.

The Indonesia-China semifinal clash was a close one with both pairs battling almost to the wire in a five-point setting in a deciding third game. The scoreline in this exciting match was 15-11, 10-15 and 18-16 in favor of the Indonesians.

In the mixed doubles championship match played today, Indonesians Trikus Heryanto and Minarti Timur easily defeated their teammates Nimpele Flandy and Rosalina Riseu, 15-5 and 15-7 to capture their fourth major international badminton title this year. Their previous successes have been at the Malaysian Open, the Indonesian Open, and the German Open.