Day 1 Results
by Mike Grossman (from a report filed by J. Chang)

December 4, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - The world's top-rated badminton men's singles player, Joko Suprianto of Indonesia, survived a nasty slip as well as match point during the opening day of the Grand Prix Finals in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

Suprianto was playing the first of his three round-robin matches in Group A of the men's singles competition when he slipped on the damp playing surface at the Juwana Mandala Stadium while scrambling to dig out a tight crosscourt drop shot from opponent Chen Gang of China.

After his fall, the match was stopped for about 30 minutes while the tournament crew dried up the playing surface. The roof of the stadium has some leaky spots and water had dripped onto the court and had made the surface slippery.

Suprianto also had to survive a match point in his encounter with Chen Gang.

The Chinese player had taken a tight first game from Suprianto, 15-13 and had the Indonesian on the proverbial ropes in the second, 14-8. However, the top-rated Suprianto had enough badminton savvy as well as energy in himself to stop Chen and to score the next 9 points. Suprianto won the second game, 17-14.

In the third game, Suprianto used his favorite tactic of very high serves and clears followed by opportunistic power strokes off any weak reply. The tactic helped him race off to an 11-5 lead. Chen managed to tally 4 points to close the gap as Suprianto went into a short mid-game slump.

With Chen starting to close in at 11-9, Suprianto then buckled down and finished the Chinese player off with the next 4 points.

Two other top-rated men's singles entries were not as fortunate as the Indonesian ace.

Olympic gold medalist Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen of Denmark was off-form today in his Group D match against Hu Zhilan of China. Hu upset the Olympic champion in a tight three-game encounter 15-13, 12-15 and 18-15.

Hoyer had enough chances to take the match from the Chinese player but his usually pinpoint shots did not find the mark specially in the crucial moments. The Dane was so disgusted with the tight loss and his performance that he slammed his racket to the playing surface after losing match point.

Dong Jiong of China, the Olympic silver medalist, also went down to defeat in Group B. Indra Wijaya of Indonesia, one of the players being groomed by the Indonesian badminton association for stardom, beat Dong in two games 15-12 and 15-5.

The match was only competitive in the first game. Dong raced off to a 7-2 lead before Wijaya was able to close the gap with 4 markers. Dong scored a point to lead 8-6, after which Wijaya outplayed Dong for 5 points and the lead at 13-8.

Dong got the service back and tallied two points. Wijaya then scored one to reach game point, 14-10. The Chinese player scrambled back to make the score 14-12 before Wijaya was able to stop Dong's run of points.

Wijaya did not waste his second game point and scored the winner to go up one game to none.

In the second game, Wijaya took an early commanding lead 9-2 on numerous errors by the Chinese ace. Dong managed to mark 3 more points before Wijaya ended the game at 15-5.

Rashid Sidek of Malaysia, the Olympic men's singles bronze medalist and the top-seed in Group C, won his opening match against Soren Nielsen of Denmark 15-10 and 15-1.

In another upset, the top-rated men's doubles team of Denny Kantono and Antonius Irianto of Indonesia were defeated by the red-hot pair of Chandra Wijaya and Sigit Budiarto, also of Indonesia, in a Group B match.

Wijaya and Sigit, winners of three Grand Prix events in the 3 months that they have been playing together, defeated the top-seeded Kantono and Antonius 15-9, 9-15 and 18-15.

There also was an upset in the women's doubles. Qin Yiyuan and Tang Yongshu of China, the Olympic bronze medalists, defeated the current world number ones, Indarti Isoliana and Denyana Lomban of Indonesia, 9-15, 15-12 and 15-5.

Some results from today's matches:

Men's Singles
Group A
Joko Suprianto - Indonesia beat Chen Gang - China 11-15, 17-14, 15-9 Fung Permadi - Chinese Taipei beat Martin Lundgaard Hansen - Denmark 15-9, 15-11
Group B
Indra Wijaya - Indonesia beat Dong Jiong - China 15-12, 15-5
Ong Ewe Hock - Malaysia beat Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen - Denmark 12-15, 15-11, 15-4
Group C
Rashid Sidek - Malaysia beat Soren Nielsen - Denmark 15-10, 15-1
Group D
Allan Budikusuma - Indonesia beat Budi Santoso - Indonesia 6-15, 15-7, 15-10
Hu Zhilan - China beat Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen - Denmark 15-13, 12-15, 18-15

Women's Singles
Group A
Mia Audina - Indonesia beat Christine Gandrup - Sweden 11-3, 11-1
Group B
Ye Zhaoying - China beat Yao Yan - China 11-7, 11-1
Group C
Wang Chen - China beat Lidya Djaelawidjaya - Indonesia 11-1, 13-11

Men's Doubles
Group A
Cheah Soon Kit/Yap Kim Hock - Malaysia beat Peter Axelsson/Par-Gunnar Jonsson - Sweden 15-12, 6-15, 15-5
Group B
Chandra Wijaya/Sigit Budiarto - Indonesia beat Antonius Irianto/Denny Kantono - Indonesia 15-9, 9-15, 18-15
Jon Holst-Christensen/Thomas Lund - Denmark beat Lee Wan Wah/Choong Tan Fook - Malaysia 11-15, 15-5, 15-13

Women's Doubles
Group A
Qin Yiyuan/Tang Yongshu - China beat Indarti Isoliana/Denyana Lomban - Indonesia 9-15, 15-12, 15-5
Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen/Marlene Thomsen - Denmark beat Christine Gandrup/ Marina Andrievskaia - Sweden 15-4, 15-2
Group B
Eliza/Rosiana Zelin - Indonesia beat Helene Kirkegaard/Rikke Olsen - Denmark 15-6, 15-2
Ge Fei/Gu Jun - China beat Nicola Beck/Joanne Davies - England 15-4, 15-0

Mixed Doubles
Group A
Michael Sogaard/Rikke Olsen - Denmark beat Peter Axelsson/Catrine Bengtsson - Sweden 15-8, 8-15, 15-7
Chris Hunt - England/Helene Kirkegaard - Denmark beat Thomas Stavngaard/ Ann Jorgensen - Denmark 15-4, 15-0
Group B
Nick Ponting/Joanne Goode - England beat Nimpele Flandy/Rosalina Riseu - Indonesia 15-10, 15-8