** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG BADMINTON PRODUCTS - experience a world champion's choice. **

May 18, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Host country South Korea won three of the five individual badminton gold medals on offer in today's championship matches at the second East Asian Games in Pusan, South Korea. The favoured Chinese took only one gold medal, while Taiwanese player Chen Feng completed a string of victories in the men's singles event for the other gold medal.

(The East Asian Games is an Olympic Games-style multisport festival held every four years. Participants are from the eastern part of Asia - China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Macau. North Korea is a member of the East Asian Games organization but did not participate in Pusan, while Australia has recently joined and will be participating in the next East Asian Games in 2001. - Editor).

Lee Dong Soo and Yim Kyung Jin won the first of the three Korean gold medals. Lee and Yim defeated Yang Ming and Zhang Jin of China 15-11 and 15-7 in the mixed doubles final.

Lee Joo Hyun took the second gold medal of the day for Korea. Lee spotted surprise finalist Takako Ida of Japan a three-point advantage in the first game before she got into her rhythm. She quickly caught up to Ida and never relinquished control of the lead after that. Lee won 11-8 and 11-5.

The Koreans were already guaranteed the gold medal in the men's doubles with two Korean pairs having won their semifinal matches. In the final, Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yong Sung easily beat their less experienced compatriots Choi Ji Tae and Kim Joong Suk 15-2 and 15-4.

The Chinese also came into the finals day assured of a gold medal in the women's doubles, with the pair of Zhang Jin and Peng Xingyong and the duo of Wang Li and Liu Lufang coming through in the semifinals. Zhang and Peng took the gold medal, beating Wang and Liu 15-8 and 15-6.

Taiwan's Chen Feng, more widely known as Fung Permadi, the badminton world grand prix champion, finished with the men's singles gold medal. Chen, who was born and trained in Indonesia but who now represents Taiwan, defeated unexpected finalist Fumihiko Machida of Japan in the championship match 18-13 and 15-5.

Earlier in the week, Korea had stunned China to take the men's team gold medal and the Chinese females had scraped by Korea to capture the women's team gold medal.

The Chinese side did not make too much of Korea's four gold medals and their own meager harvest of only two badminton gold medals at this East Asian Games, since all of their top players did not play in Pusan but were saved for the more prestigious and all-important badminton world championships slated to start on Monday, May 19, in Glasgow, Scotland. There were also strong suggestions of dissatisfaction from China and the other visiting countries over the sometimes patriotic line-judging.

Korea, being the host country, had chosen to split their team in order to have a good showing at home. They fielded top-quality players Lee Joo Hyun, Lee Dong Soo, Yoo Yong Sung and Hwang Sun Ho in Pusan and sent Park Sung Woo, Ra Kyung Min, Kim Ji Hyun, Ha Tae Kwon, Kang Kyung Jin, Jang Hye Ock and others ahead to Glasgow for their opening mixed team fixtures. Lee Joo Hyun, Lee Dong Soo, Yoo and Hwang will be flying to Glasgow immediately to join their teammates for the world championships.

The individual East Asian Games event medalists in badminton:

Men's Singles
Gold - Chen Feng (Taiwan)
Silver - Fumihiko Machida (Japan)
Bronze - Chen Wei (China), Jang Chun Wong (South Korea)

Women's Singles
Gold - Lee Joo Hyun (South Korea)
Silver - Takako Ida (Japan)
Bronze - Zeng Yaqiong (China), Sun Jian (China)

Men's Doubles
Gold - Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yong Sung (South Korea)
Silver - Choi Ji Tae and Kim Joong Suk (South Korea)
Bronze - Que Ning and Liang Yong Ping (China), Takuya Katayama and Yuzo Kubota (Japan)

Women's Doubles
Gold - Zhang Jin and Peng Xingyong (China)
Silver - Wang Li and Liu Lufang (China)
Bronze - Chikako Nakayama and Takae Masumo (Japan), Peng Ju-yu and Chen Mei-cun (Taiwan)

Mixed Doubles
Gold - Lee Dong Soo and Yim Kyung Jin (South Korea)
Silver - Yang Ming and Zhang Jin (China)
Bronze - Yoo Yung Sung and Lee Kyung Won (South Korea), Hu Zhilan and Peng Xingyong (China)