by Mike Grossman (from a report filed by Deo and Joppy Fontanilla)

December 8, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - Fung Permadi of Chinese Taipei, a former member of the Indonesian national badminton squad, today reached one of the peaks in the sport when he won the men's singles championship of the 1996 World Grand Prix Finals in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

The Grand Prix Finals is the year-ending tournament of champions and top performers on badminton's top-of-the-ladder professional circuit, the Grand Prix.

Permadi defeated the young Chinese player, Sun Jun, 15-12 and 15-8 in today's tournament finale.

The match did not start out well for Permadi as the fleet-footed Sun covered the court well. Sun was ahead 7-4 in the first game when disaster struck the Chinese player.

Sun slipped during a rally and twisted his right knee badly. The injury seemed to hamper Sun's game from that point on as he was no longer as mobile on the court and he no longer had the speed and quickness advantage over Permadi.

The young Chinese player did play on through the pain but Permadi started to take advantage of Sun's injury . The Taipei player began to stretch his shots to areas just beyond Sun's reduced range or to spots that would induce a poor return or an error.

Permadi caught up to Sun and passed him to win the first 15-12.

The second was more of the same with Permadi winning 15-8.

The victory caps the best year for the Indonesian veteran player who now plays for the Chinese Taipei badminton association. A second-stringer on the Indonesian team in years past, Permadi has benefitted from being sent to play in more international tournaments as a player for Taipei. He won the China and Hong Kong Opens this year as well as had several semifinal finishes.

Permadi's Grand Prix Finals championship also adds more glory to the Chinese Taipei badminton association's year. At the world junior championships last month in Denmark, a Chinese-Taipei male doubles pair finished with a silver medal ahead of the favored Indonesians, Chinese and Koreans.

In the women's singles finale, Susi Susanti of Indonesia trounced the current world champion, Ye Zhaoying of China, 11-4 and 11-1.

The Chinese player was never in the match. Already saddled with the dubious reputation of playing very poorly in championship matches, Ye seemed unnerved by the almost vehemently pro-Susi Indonesian crowd and played sluggishly and erratically.