March 2, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Some of China's badminton players are scheduled to swing back into international action at this week's Swedish Open badminton tournament. The Chinese players have been absent from the international tournament circuit for the past 5 weeks following rumours of a dispute between the Chinese badminton association and some top players over the players' share of their tournament prize money and the reported suspension of Olympic silver men's singles medalist Dong Jiong and world mixed team gold medalist Sun Jun.

The official reason given by the Chinese badminton association thru head coach Li Yongbo for the absence of the Chinese players was that they needed time to rest and train at home for the All-England in mid-March and the world championships in May.

At the Swedish Open, the Chinese have entered a team led by Luo Yigang in men's singles and Gong Zhichao in women's singles. Dong Jiong, Sun Jun, world women's singles champion Ye Zhaoying and the Olympic women's doubles gold medalist pair of Ge Fei and Gu Jun are not on the team.

In another Swedish Open development, men's singles top-seed Ong Ewe Hock of Malaysia is reportedly withdrawing from the tournament for medical reasons. Ong is said to be suffering from a bad cold that he acquired during the Asia Cup tournament in Jakarta, Indonesia the week before.

Ong's withdrawal opens up the draw for the remaining seeds like Indonesians Budi Santoso, Jeffer Rosobin, Salim, and Ardy Wiranata, Koreans Park Sung Woo and Hwang Sun Ho, and China's Luo Yigang.

The seedings at the 3-star US$80,000 Ericcson Swedish Open:

Men's Singles -
1. Ong Ewe Hock (Malaysia) - withdrawn
2. Budi Santoso (Indonesia)
3. Park Sung Woo (Korea)
4. Jeffer Rosobin (Indonesia)
5. Salim (Indonesia)
6. Luo Yigang (China)
7. Hwang Sun Ho (Korea)
8. Ardy Wiranata (Indonesia)

Women's Singles -
1. Gong Zhichao (China)
2. Zhang Ning (China)
3. Kim Ji Hyun (Korea)
4. Yao Yan (China)
5. Zeng Yaqiong (China)
6. Ra Kyung Min (Korea)
7. Lee Joo Hyun (Korea)
8. Margit Borg (Sweden)

Men's Doubles -
1. Kang Kyung Jin/Ha Tae Kwon (Korea)
2. Peter Axelsson/Par-Gunnar Jonsson (Sweden)
3. Frederik Bergstrom/Rasmus Wengberg (Sweden)
4. Johan Tholinsson-Henrik Andersson (Sweden)

Women's Doubles -
1. Helene Kirkegaard/Rikke Olsen (Denmark)
2. Christine Gandrup/Marina Andrievskaya (Sweden)
3. Nicola Beck/Joanne Davis (England)
4. Zhang Ning/Gong Zhichao (China)

Mixed Doubles -
1. Peter Axelsson/Catrine Bengtsson (Sweden)
2. Ha Tae Kwon/Kim Shin Young (Korea)
3. Jonas Rasmussen/Ann-Lou Jorgensen (Denmark)
4. Jens Olsson/Astrid Crabo (Sweden)

** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is sponsored by YANG YANG BADMINTON EQUIPMENT and their Finland agents, RACKETSERVICE K.Y. (Tel. 9-6801690). **