by Mike Grossman and Martin Coe

** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is sponsored by YANG YANG BADMINTON EQUIPMENT and their UK agents, SUNRISE SPORTS (07050-182838/fax:07050-183838). **

March 14, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - In a rematch of the Atlanta Olympic Games badminton men's singles gold medal match, Dong Jiong of China, the silver medalist, today reversed the results when he defeated the gold medal winner, Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen of Denmark, in one of the semfinal matches at the All-England Open in Birmingham, England.

Dong got ahead of Hoyer-Larsen early in the first game 3-0 on two errors by the Dane and a scoring smash. Hoyer came back and pulled even 4-all when he induced Dong into a net error.

Dong pulled ahead again 6-4 on Hoyer errors, and again the Dane came back to tie 6-6 when he smashed a poorly lifted shot by Dong.

Errors continued to plague Hoyer and Dong regained the lead 8-6.

Dong then smoked a smash into Hoyer's body to add to his score. Another net error by Hoyer put the score at 10-6. The next rally ended when Dong wrongfooted Hoyer with a deceptive net shot that the Dane returned into the net.

Dong increased his lead to 12-6 when Hoyer induced him into an extremely short lift which Hoyer inexplicably smashed into net. A backhand drive from Hoyer that went astray put the score at 13-6.

The Olympic champion did not fade away at this point. He induced Dong into several errors to creep back 8-13. However, Hoyer's erratic play resurfaced, giving Dong game point 14-8 with a crosscourt net shot that went wide and then the game winner 15-8 with a sliced halfsmash that went out of bounds.

The Dane started the second game seemingly determined to win. He opened up the scoring with a crosscourt halfsmash and after a series of scoring exchamges had the lead at 7-5 mainly on errors by Dong.

At this point, Dong came back, inducing a long clear from Hoyer and then tying up the game 7-all with a crosscourt jumpsmash to the sideline. Dong then went on a scoring run to reach 12-7 on a net kill off an indecisive drive by Hoyer, a crosscourt smashing error, a clear that Hoyer misjudged and which landed inbounds, a Dong jumpsmash, and another error by the Dane.

Hoyer mounted a short comeback to reach 10 as he tightened up his net game and his spinners scored or forced Dong into a poor shot.

Dong got the serve back and Hoyer again misjudged the drift as he allowed a very high serve to land in, letting Dong reach the all-important 13th point.

Dong got to match point when he pressured Hoyer with fast play into sending a backhand drive into the net.

Hoyer saved match point with determined play, ending the rally with a smash. However, he was not able to convert on his serve. Instead it was Dong who tallied a marker with a powerful smash from close to midcourt to take the match 15-10.

In the other men's singles semifinal, Sun Jun of China put out world champion Heryanto Arbi 15-10 and 15-11.

Both players started tentatively. The two exchanged points in the early part of the first game. Arbi got his spinning net shots going and induced smashable lifts from Sun for his scores. Sun used his speed and quickness as well as some clever anticipation to counter Arbi's shots. He moved Arbi around the court to create his scoring chances - mainly kills at the net off poor Arbi returns and induced errors from the Indonesian.

It was Arbi who pulled ahead after a 6-all tie with net spinners and smashes. Arbi led 9-6 and then 10-7. Sun crept back 8-10 when he got Arbi to lift long. He then scored with a smash and then tied the game up at 10-all with a net kill after he and Arbi exchanged net spinners.

Sun then tallied the next five points to claim the first game 15-10, mainly on errors by Arbi.

Sun took an early lead in the second 4-0 on Arbi errors, a dropshot that surprised Arbi, a smash that Arbi blocked to the net and an Arbi smash into the net. Arbi came back with killshots and crosscourt smashes to set the score at 4-5, Sun still ahead.

Sun then jumped out to a 9-4 lead on several Arbi wide shots and a tight net shot.

Arbi again came back and caught up at 9-all with scoring smashes and drives. He took a lead 10-9 after a rally that ended when Sun's crosscourt clear went wide. After an exchange of serves, Arbi scored with rallying play in which he killed two Sun Jun shots at the net, first when he induced Sun into a poor return and second when Sun somehow got his racket on the killed shuttle and stroked it back into play at the net.

Sun tied the game at 11-all whe he moved Arbi around the court with his shots and induced a short backhand clear which he then punched with a sliced halfsmash. After an exchange of serves, Sun tallied his twelfth with a drop shot, then his thirteenth when he pressured Arbi into a wide net shot.

Sun reached match point 14-11 when he induced a long lift from Arbi. Arbi fought back with a smash to Sun's body to stay alive. Sun though got the serve back with a crosscourt halfsmash.

Sun then served for the match. He engaged Arbi in a fast flat exchange that ended when a pressured Arbi drove a return wide.

The Dong and Sun semifinal victories set up one of two all-China finals tomorrow. The other all-China final will be between second-seed Gong Zhichao and world champion Ye Zhaoying in the women's singles.

Gong easliy disposed of a hurting Ra Kyung Min of Korea, who was nursing an injury to her right thigh as well as her knee. Gong's running, all-court game was difficult for the injured Korean to cope with and Gong ran away with the match 11-3 and 11-2.

Ye had a more difficult time with her lefthanded teammate Dai Yun. Ye seemed to be on easy street with an 11-3 first game win. The second was a different affair as the lefthander buckled down while Ye seemed to lose her focus. Dai took the second 11-5.

In the decider, the world champion began to move quicker around her half of the court and also made Dai work for her shots more. Ye took the third 11-2.

In the men's doubles semifinals, Jon Holst-Christensen and Michael Sogaard of Denmark delighted the Danes and the English fans in the stands when they surprised the second-seeds Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock of Malaysia.

The Danes however had a poor start. They came into court several minutes after the Malaysians had started to warm up. Playing sluggishy and stiffly, they allowed the Malaysians a 5-0 early lead.

They then came back to score 3 on Malaysian errors as they began to time the speed and power of the Malaysian smashes and as they started to defend extremely well, digging shots barely an inch from the floor and flicking blocks up into the backcourt or flat into the net area.

The Danish and Malaysian defenses were both of the highest standard and the rallies and flurries of smash attacks, incredible blink-of-an-eye blocks, and exchanges of attacks were plentiful.

Holst and Sogaard tied the game at 6-all with a series of smash attacks and then took the lead with a Sogaard net shot. The two pairs exhanged points to reach 8-all.

The Danes tallied the next point after a furious rally that saw Sogaard exceute several miraculous saves and the a frustrated Cheah ended with a smash to the net. The game belonged to the Danes after that rally as they scored the next 7 points, the last one on a surprise drop shot that Holst struck after a furious rally of smashes and blocks.

The second was more of the same - many series of furious smash-block-smash rallies. However, it was the Malaysians who made the less errors in this game, taking it at 15-12 on a net kill by Cheah.

The early part of the decider was closely fought with both pairs exchanging points to a 6-6 tie. The Danes got a nose ahead 7-6 after another furious rally that had the audience amazed by the tremendous reflexes of both pairs.

The Danes extended their lead to 11-6 on a lift that Yap misjudged, a Holst net kill that ticked the top of the net, a Holst short serve that Yap let land in, and a lift-block error bu Cheah.

Cheah and Yap got some points back on errors by Sogaard and two Yap net kills. The score then stood at 10-11. After exchanging serves, the Danes tallied the next point when Yap blocked a Sogaard smash to the net.

After the Danish pair scored again, the Malaysians grabbed the serve back and then scored on a Cheah smash 11-13. That was all for the Malaysians.

Holst and Sogaard battled back to get the service then got to match point when Yap mishit a clip dropshot in the midst of another furious rally and landed the shuttle wide.

The Malaysians saved match point when under extreme pressure from a Danish smash attack, Cheah driveblocked the shuttle and ticked the top of the net. After several scoreless exchanges of serves, the Danes got their smash attack into gear with Sogaard providing the firepower from the backcourt and with Holst ending the Malaysian agony with a net kill off a short Malaysian block.

In the other men's doubles semifinal, the top seeds Sigit Budiarto and Chandra Wijaya were eliminated by the 5/8 seeded Koreans Ha Tae Kwon and Kang Kyung Jin. The combination of the tall Ha with his long reach and steeply angled smashes and kills and the lefthanded Kang with his jump smashes proved too much for the young Indonesians. Ha and Kang defeated Sigit and Wijaya 15-11 and 15-7.

In the women's doubles semifinals, the number one and number two seeds both prevailed. Top seeded Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China easlily beat the 5/8 seeds from Denmark, Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen, 15-3 and 15-6, while second seeds Eliza Nathanael and Resiana Zelin of Indonesia dispatched Huang Nanyan and Liu Zhong of China 15-12 and 15-8.

In the mixed doubles semifinals, top seeds Tri Kusheryanto and Minarti Timur of Indonesia were taken to a third game by Chen Xingdong and Gu Jun of China, but the tricky (deceptive) Tri was too much for Chen and Gu to handle in the decider. The Indonesians won 15-11, 12-15 and 15-2.

Facing the Indonesians in the finals will be 5/8 seeds Liu Yong and Ge Fei of China who easily beat the experienced English doubles player Chris Hunt and his 19-year old rookie partner, Donna Kellogg. The score in the Liu/Ge versus Hunt/Kellogg semifinal was 15-6 and 15-4.