(from a report filed by YANG YANG BADMINTON SHUTTLES)

January 25, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen made it four elite international men's singles badminton titles in a row for Denmark today when he captured the six-star Samsung Korean Open crown at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul.

Stuer, a bronze medalist at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics who has been hampered by injury after injury since then, defeated world championship silver medalist Park Sung Woo of Korea in today's championship match 15-12 and 15-10.

Stuer was able to use his physical attributes - his 6-foot 5-inch height, his long reach, and long legs - to good advantage today against the shorter Korean player. Defensively, he was able to turn back enough of the Korean smashes and fast drives to his body and prevented Park from taking control of the match.

It was sweet revenge of sorts for the tall Dane. His latest severe injury came during a semifinal match at the 1995 world championships in Swtizerland. He was playing against Park and was in a winning position when he landed badly after a jumpsmash and injured an ankle. The injury forced him to retire from the match and he had to give up an excellent chance at a world championship.

Stuer's victory is the fourth consecutive elite international badminton men's singles championship for the Danes. Hoyer-Larsen, the Atlanta Olympic gold medalist, won the invitational elite-player Copenhagen Masters in late December to start the Danish streak. The up-and-coming Peter Gade-Christensen won the men's singles title at the Taipei Open, the first major badminton tourney of 1997, and then Peter Rasmussen made it three in a row last Sunday when he took the Japan Open crown.

In today's other championship match, an all-China affair, Olympic women's doubles champions Ge Fei and Gu Jun asserted their mastery over Qin Yiyuan and Tang Yongshu. Ge and Gu defeated Qin and Tang, the Olympic bronze medal holders, 15-10 and 15-10, for their second consecutive major title in 1997.

Ge and Gu had won last week's Japan Open women's doubles championship.

In semifinal action in the other events, women's singles top-seed Gong Zhichao and second-seed Ye Zhaoying won their matches to set up the second all-China championship match in this year's Korean Open.

Gong easily defeated compatriot Dai Yun 11-2 and 11-2, while Ye, the current world champion, came back from a close first game loss to beat Korea's Ra Kyung Min 10-12, 11-7 and 11-8.

In men's doubles, top-seeds Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock of Malaysia dispatched Yoo Yong Sung and Lee Dong Soo of Korea 15-8 and 15-7.

Both pairs started out playing tentatively with several exchanges of serves. The Koreans settled down first and got ahead with attacking play, while the Malaysians made several errors under pressure from Yoo and Lee. However, Cheah and Yap soon got their game into high gear. They began to defend well and managed to attack the Korean pair with great effectiveness, breaking down the Yoo-Lee defenses, specially in the second game.

In the other men's doubles semifinal, Indonesia received another disappointment at this edition of the Korean Open when second-seeds Tony Gunawan and Rudy Wijaya went down to defeat at the hands of Ha Tae Kwon and Kang Kyung Jin of Korea.

Gunawan and Wijaya played nervously from the outset while Ha and Kang were combining well offensively and defensively. Ha and Kang kept the pressure on the Indonesian pair in the first and completely dominated them 15-2. Gunawan and Wijaya tried to come back in the second, but seemed to get more nervous and erratic as the game progessed and as the Koreans continued to play well together. Ha and Kang took the second 15-8.

The mixed doubles semifinals also was a disappointment for the Indonesians. Top seeds Tri Kusheryanto and Minarti Timur lost to Jens Eriksen and Marlene Thomsen of Denmark 15-4 and 15-9.

The Danes played a flat game through most of the the match, using drives and net shots and avoiding lifts and clears to take away Kusheryanto's jump smashes and ultra-deceptive jumping drop shots. Kusheryanto and Timur tried to counter by speeding up play and by playing tight net shots to induce a Danish lift. However, this only resulted in Indonesian errors to the net or to the endlines, or in short clears and lifts and popups at the net which the Danes feasted on for many points.

The Eriksen-Thomsen win over the world number one pairing of Kusheryanto and Timur is the second in a row for the Danes. At the Japan Open last week, Eriksen and Thomsen also upset the top-seeded Indonesians, that one being a very closely fought 18-14, 15-18 and 18-15 quarterfinal battle.

With the defeat of men's doubles semifinalsts Gunawan and Wijaya and mixed doubles semifinalists Kusheryanto and Timur today, badminton power Indonesia has been shut out of the titles at this six-star rated badminton tourney.

The other mixed doubles semifinal was won by Japan Open champions Liu Yong and Ge Fei of China. Liu and Ge eliminated Koreans Yoo Yung Song and Jang Hye Ock 15-4 and 15-7 to set up a repeat of last week's Japan Open finals with Eriksen and Thomsen.