KOREAN OPEN: HA AND KANG WIN ONE CROWN FOR KOREA
(from a report filed by YANG YANG BADMINTON SHUTTLES)
January 26, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Ha Tae Kwon and Kang Kyung Jin today
managed to win one championship for Korea at the six-star US$250,000 Korean
Open badminton tournament in Seoul and helped the host country, one of the
powerhouses in the sport and winners of four crowns last year, to avoid being
shut out of the titles in their own homegrounds. Ha and Kang, seeded 3-4,
beat the top-seeds from Malaysia, Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock, in today's
men's doubles title match.
The match did not start out well for the Korean pair. Cheah and Yap were
overwhelming in their smash attacks in the first game, while the Ha-Kang
defenses were porous. Cheah and Yap ran away with the first game 15-4.
In the second game, the Malaysians came out coasting and playing defensively,
perhaps tired from their first set efforts and perhaps a bit overconfident.
The Korean game caught fire and they started to unload successive smash
attacks that scored repeatedly on Cheah and Yap. The Malaysians never got
their game going and the Ha-Kang duo took the second stanza in a breeze 15-3.
In the deciding third game, the Korean smash attack was still effective
while Cheah and Yap's smashes and drives did not have the sting and power
to get to the floor past the Korean defenses. In fact, Ha and Kang were able
to turn back the Malaysian attempts at offense with faster drives and drive
blocks of their own. The Koreans won the third easily 15-5.
In the women's doubles finals, an all-China affair, it was world champion Ye
Zhoying, seeded second here, who prevailed over top-seeded teammate Gong
The first game of this final looked like a practice session between the two
Chinese players, with Ye being the less-interested and more-erratic of the
two combatants. Gong took the first 11-6.
In the second set, Gong continued to play well while Ye was still unfocused
and erratic in the early going. In mid-game, however, Ye began to exert
herself. She caught up to Gong and beat her in a tie-breaker 12-10.
In the third, Ye had the proverbial momentum on her side. With her reverse
slice drop shots and tight net shots working, she captured the decider and
the championship 11-4.
In the mixed doubles final, Liu Yong and Ge Fei defeated Jens Eriksen and
Marlene Thomsen of Denmark and claimed the third title for China at this
edition of the Korean Open.
The two mixed doubles pairs, playing against each other in a major badminton
championship match for the second week in a row, battled it out in a close
first game with Liu and Ge finally prevailing 15-13.
In the second game, the Danes never got into the thick of the fight. Liu and
Ge were in control through most of the set and won 15-3.
Liu and Ge had also won last week's Japan Open mixed doubles finals over
Eriksen and Thomsen.
In championship matches held yesterday, Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen had made it
four elite international men's singles titles in a row for Denmark when he
beat Park Sung Woo of Korea 15-12 and 15-10, while Olympic women's doubles
gold medalists Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China had defeated teammates Qin Yiyuan
and Tang Yongshu 15-10 and 15-10 to take the first of China's three
championships at this tournament.
COPYRIGHT 1997 by NEW SHUTTLENWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.