April 8, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Fidel Ramos, President of the host nation Philippines, and his spouse, Amelita, gave the Asian Junior badminton championships a presidential start yesterday by taking to the badminton court at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila during the opening ceremonies and engaging in several rallies. Both Ramoses are badminton enthusiasts and Mrs. Ramos heads the badminton association in the Philippines.

The male and female team competitions got underway after the opening ceremonies and the Philippine girls delighted the home crowd with a 3-0 drubbing of Kazahkstan in a first round meeting. The Philippine boys' team had a bye in the first round and was scheduled to play Pakistan in the second round. However, the Pakistani team had not yet arrived in Manila and was defaulted in their matchup against the Philippines. The walkover gave the host team a free ride into the quarterfinals of the male team competition.

In late action in the female team event, Indonesia was almost eliminated by Hong Kong in a quarterfinal meeting (The team events are being contested on an elimination basis, that is a team is eliminated when it loses a best-of-five matches meeting with another team. The five matches consist of three singles and two doubles contests. Also, the team competitions will be followed by individual event championships - Editor).

Koon Wai Chee of Hong Kong, playing first singles, upset Melissa Dewi 4-11, 11-4 and 11-7 to put Hong Kong ahead 1 match to none. In the second singles match, Hanny Setiani of Indonesia had to battle after from losing the first game to Ling Wang Ting 8-11. Setiani won the next two games 11-6 and 11-1 to put the Indonesian girls on the scoreboard.

Jie Elyni then put Hong Kong back in front 2-1 when she beat Rosalina Atu in a very tense contest that featured tiebreaks in the second and third games. Jie pulled the victory out 11-8, 11-12 and 12-9.

Indonesia's doubles pairs came to the rescue. Yeni Adriani and Rossi Rian beat a tired Jie and partner Lee Wing Min in the first doubles contest 15-3 and 15-5. The win by Adriani and Rian tied the meet up at 2 matches apiece.

The fifth match was a nail-biter for the two teams and their supporters. Vita Marisa and Enni Widowati of Indonesia took the first game from Koon Wai Chee and Ling Wan Ting 15-12, but the Hong Kong girls came back strong in the second to win at 15-10.

The fate of the Indonesian and Hong Kong girls' teams hung in the balance in the third and deciding game. The two pairs battled each other, exchanging surges of points. The game went to setting at 14-all before the more experienced Marisa and Widowati were able to win the game, the match and the meet 17-15.

Results of the first day of team competition:

First Round
Singapore beat Iran on a walkover
Vietnam beat Syria 3-1
Cambodia beat Nepal 3-2
Myanmar beat Bangladesh 3-0

Second Round
China beat Singapore 3-0
India beat Macau (score not available)
Korea beat Vietnam 3-0
Philippines beat Pakistan on a walkover
Malaysia beat Cambodia 3-0
Taiwan beat Sri Lanka 3-0
Indonesia beat Myanmar 3-0
Japan beat Kazakhstan 3-0

First Round
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan on a walkover
Philippines beat Kazakhstan 3-0
Malaysia beat Taiwan (score not available)
Hong Kong beat India 3-0

Korea beat Malaysia 3-1
Indonesia beat Hong Kong 3-2