** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is sponsored by YANG YANG BADMINTON EQUIPMENT and their German agents, SIAM SPORTS (Tel/Fax 9872-93625). **


February 14, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - An angered Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen today defeated Malaysia's Wong Choon Han in a men's singles quarterfinal match at the Indian Open now underway in New Delhi. Hoyer, the 1996 Olympic champion from Denmark and the top seed here, became angry during the second game when Wong refused to honor Hoyer's request for a shuttle change.

Hoyer had taken the first game from Wong 15-9 with smooth and easy-going play. The two were well into the second game when Wong ran off a string of points on several shots from Hoyer that flew out-of-bounds. At this point, Hoyer signaled Wong, requesting a change in shuttles. Wong refused, wanting to keep using the shuttle that he was scoring with.

This refusal incensed the Olympic champion and Hoyer then stepped up his play. The two played with emotional intensity and with some heated exchanges, but the more experienced Danish player got control of the game in the end and won 15-13.

According to some international players, Wong's refusal was minor-league behaviour and that, while Wong was within his rights not to change shuttles if the featherball was still in good condition, players in the higher-rankings will change shuttles whenever requested as a gesture of respect and courtesy to a fellow-player.

In another key quarterfinal match, current world champion Heryanto Arbi of Indonesia, seeded a joint 3rd-and-4th, easily disposed of Tam Kai Chuen of Hong Kong. Arbi routed the player from Hong Kong 15-3 and 15-6.

The victories by Hoyer and Arbi set up a semifinal between the two champions. While victory here is important to both, it has more significance for Arbi who has dropped to the low 20's in the world rankings due to a thigh injury he suffered late last year and who is in danger of not even qualifying to play in the upcoming world championships in late May (Only four players from a country will qualify per event to compete in the world championships, unless the player is ranked in the top 16. There are 7 Indonesian men's singles players currently ranked ahead of Arbi).

In another quarterfinal match, Indian national champion Gopi Chand came back from losing the first game to defeat Jang Chen Wong of Korea 8-15, 15-3 and 15-4. Gopi Chand is the first Indian player to reach a four-star international badminton tournament semifinal since the days of Indian great Prakash Padukone.

The unseeded Gopi Chand will play another non-seed, Kim Hyung Joon of Korea, in the semifinals. Kim eliminated Jason Wong of Malaysia 18-17 and 15-10 in his quarterfinal match.

In women's singles, second seed Jo Muggeridge of England defeated India's Neelima Choudhury 11-7 amd 11-4 to book a spot in the semifinals. Muggeridge will play Lee Soon Deuk of Korea who beat the Indonesian player Olivia 11-12, 11-6 and 11-6.

The other women's singles semifinal spots were decided last night when the top-seeded Cindana of Indonesia and world university champion Choi Ma Ree of Korea won their quarterfinal matches.