(from reports filed by YANG YANG BADMINTON EQUIPMENT)

January 24, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Another Danish men's singles player will try to make it three major badminton men's singles championships in a row for Denmark when Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen plays in the finals of the six-star $250,000 Samsung Korean Open at Olympic Stadium in Seoul, Korea.

Stuer will bid to join compatriots Peter Gade-Christensen and Peter Rasmussen in the ranks of the 1997 men's singles titleholders. Gade won the season-opening five-star Taipei Open title two weeks ago, while Rasmussen took the five-star Japan Open crown last Sunday.

Stuer, the tall Danish men's singles number two, easily defeated Korean Kim Hak Kyun in today's semifinal match 15-2 and 15-12 to book a spot in the finals against Park Sung Woo of Korea.

Park, the 1995 world championships silver medalist, had a hard-fought three-game semifinal victory against Yong Hock Kin of Malaysia. Park and Yong engaged in an 80-minute badminton battle that featured many long rallies and exchanges. Neither player could force the shuttle to the floor consistently past his opponent's defenses in the first game.

Yong, playing in his first major tournament semifinal, took the first game 15-11.

In the latter part of the second stanza and in the third game, Park's smashes began to find the floor as Yong got tired and tightened up. Park captured the second at 15-5 and also the third at 15-7.

Another Stuer, Lisbeth, did not have as good a day as Thomas. She was unable to play today in her women's doubles semifinal match. Stuer and partner Marlene Thomsen had to give a walkover and a free ride to the finals to Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China, the Olympic gold medalists.

Joining Ge Fei and Gu Jun in the women's doubles finals are compatriots Tang Yongshu and Qin Yiyuan, the Olympic bronze medalists. Tang and Qin beat Jang Hye Ock, one of the Olympic silver medalists from Korea, and new partner Park Soo Yun 15-12 and 15-10 in their semifinal encounter.

In the women's singles quarterfinals, three Chinese players and a Korean made it thru to the semifinals. Top-seed Gong Zhichao of China beat Lee Joo Hyun of Korea 11-1 and 11-8, while second-seeded compatriot Ye Zhaoying, the current world champion, toyed with Japan's Yasuko Mizui 11-2 and 11-2. Dai Yun, also of China, eliminated Kim Ji Hyun of Korea 11-3 and 11-7. Ra Kyung Min of Korea survived the Chinese onslaught when she dispatched an out-of-form Zhang Ning of China 11-8 and 11-0.

Gong will face Dai in one semifinal, while Ye will battle Ra.

In the men's doubles quarterfinals, top-seeds Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock of Malaysia defeated Andrej Antropov and Nikolaj Zuev of Russia 15-7 and 15-9. Second-seeds Tony Gunawan and Rudy Wijaya of Indonesia survived an 8-15 first game loss to Koreans Kim Jung Suk and Choi Ji Tae to make it to the semifinals with 15-3 and 15-7 second and third game wins.

Ha Tae Kwon and Kang Kyung Jin of Korea beat Ge Cheng and Tao Xiaoqiang of China 15-9 and 15-12, and another Korean pair, Yoo Yung Sung and Lee Dong Soo, defeated the scratch Danish duo of Michael Sogaard and Jon Holst-Christensen 15-8 and 18-16 to round out the semifinal roster.

Cheah and Yap will have Yoo and Lee as their semifinal opponents. Gunawan and Wijaya will play Ha and Kang in their semifinal match.

In mixed doubles quarterfinal action, top-seeds Tri Kusheryanto and Minarti Timur of Indonesia disposed of the Korean tandem of Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Shin Young 15-11 and 17-15.

Japan Open finalists Jens Eriksen and Marlene Thomsen of Denmark booked a semifinal spot opposite the Indonesians with a 15-4 and 15-5 whipping of Chen Xing Dong and Peng Xingyong of China.

Japan Open champions Liu Yong and Ge Fei of China, playing in only their second major tournament as a pair, won against Koreans Kang Kyung Jin and Kim Mee Hyang 15-7, 10-15 and 15-12 and will play another Korean combination, Yoo Yung Sung and Jang Hye Ock, in the semifinals.

Yoo and Jang defeated compatriots Choi Ji Tae and Cha Yun Suk 18-17 and 15-5 to qualify for the next stage in the tournament.