WORLD TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: CHINA TRIUMPHS IN SEMIS
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May 23, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - China defeated Indonesia, 3 matches to 2, in
this afternoon's semifinals of the badminton world team championships
(Sudirman Cup) being held in Glasgow, Scotland to the delight of a large,
flag-waving pro-Chinese crows. With the victory, China continues its defense
of the team title they won in 1995 in Switzerland.
China's mixed doubles combination of Liu Yong and Ge Fei took on Limpele
Flandy and Minarti Timur in the opening match. Liu and Ge pulled away to an
8-3 lead in the first game with Ge controlling the net area and Liu providing
both power and touch shots from the rear.
The Indonesians climbed back into contention with Flandy starting to uncork
smashes and kills. Chinese errors also helped in the Indonesian comeback.
An errant crosscourt kill by Liu gave the Indonesians a tie at 11-all. The
game was close from then on with the two pairs battling to a 13-all
In the five-point setting, Liu set up a Ge netkill with a series of smashes
to put the Chinese up 1-0. After several scoreless service turns, a Liu and Ge
attack pressured Flandy into blocking the shuttle into the net for point
Liu's error at the net, more scoreless service turns, and then an errant Liu
lift following a great defensive stand by Timur brought the Indonesians to
equality at 2-2.
Liu's smash and drop combinations set up a Ge kill for a 3-2 Chinese lead. A
head-high smash by Liu in Timur's direction stayed inbounds to give the
Chinese pair a game point at 4-2.
Ge then scored the winner with a push shot from the net after the two pairs
had engaged in a driving rally.
In the second game, the Indonesians gained the early lead at 8-3 with Timur
asserting herself at net and Flandy booming smashes at the Chinese defense.
Liu brought the Chinese back somewhat with smash attacks focused on Timur.
But the Indonesians managed to stay slightly ahead with a Timur flick serve
that fooled Ge Fei.
Finally, the Chinese pulled even at 10-all with Liu again setting up a Ge kill
with a series of smashes. The two pairs swapped leads until 12-all.
A series of Liu smashes at Timur gave the Chinese a 13-12 advantage. Ge made
it 14-12 with a drop shot to Timur after Liu had softened up the Indonesians
with jumpsmashes and drops.
The Indonesians turned back the Chinese at match point with Flandy's
attacking flurry finalized with a net kill. A series of drops from Flandy
resulted in a point for Indonesia.
Ge's drop-drop-and-kill combination got the service back for the Chinese.
The Chinese did not waste the chance this time around. They got the attack
advantage and Liu combined smashes and drops to finally pressure Flandy into
lifting the shuttle wide.
The Liu-Ge 18-15 and 15-13 win put the Chinese one match ahead.
A women's singles match between China's Ye Zhaoying and Indonesia's Susi
Susanti followed. Ye had an easy first game win at 11-6 as she had her famed
slice drops landing in spots beyond even the reach of the great retrieving
player that Susanti is.
Susanti reversed the score in the second, moving Ye around with long rallies
and taking advantage of Ye's many errors. Susanti won the second 11-6.
The decider was all Susanti's as Ye's errors mounted. Susanti took the third
China and Indonesia now had one match apiece.
In the men's singles match, Indonesia suprisingly fielded the pony-tailed
Ardy Wiranata against world number one Dong Jiong.
Dong played a methodical game, patiently constructing rallies with all sorts
of shots to all corners until Wiranata made an error or until he could unleash
a jumping smash. Wiranata tried to keep up with the Chinese player clearing
and lifting shots back at Dong.
Wiranata's retrieving was no match for the patience, the touch, and the power
of Dong. The Chinese player raced to an 11-2 lead.
Wiranata changed tactics at the point and started to attack. Dong's defense
was up to the task and forced Wiranata back into his retrieving style.
A Dong crosscourt drop shot induced a Wiranata error at net to put the score
at 12-2. Dong constructed the next point with a patient rally which he ended
with a crosscourt smash. A deceptive cut dropshot brought the Chinese player
to game point at 14-12.
At game point, Dong again patiently built up for the scoring chance, striking
several slice drops, then a clear, and then a crosscourt clear. Finally, with
Wiranata off-balance after having to scramble, Dong hit the game-winning
In the second game, Dong gained the early lead again at 4-1. Wiranata
equalized at 4-all following several Dong miscues. An errant Dong smash gave
Wiranata his first lead for the match, and his own attack added a point to
Dong again constructed a patient rally that ended with a point-scoring smash
to put the score at 5-6. A midcourt smash set up again with an all-court
rally gave him a 6-all tie, and a smash to the sideline put him back in the
Dong and Wiranata got two more points each afterwards to put the score at
Dong then set up the next point with a smash that Wiranata soft-blocked.
Dong rushed to the net and sent the shuttle back with a tight net spinner,
inducing the Indonesian into an error.
Point 11 came when Wiranata replied to a high Dong service with an errant
slice drop. After a series of scoreless service turns, a Wiranata clip shot
that found the net gave Dong a 12-8 lead.
Dong pressured the Indonesian into another net error for point 13.
The next point came after Wiranata had mounted a smash-smash-smash attack
capably defended by Dong. Dong turned the attack and scored on a cross-court
jump smash. The out-of-position Wiranata could only throw his racket across
the court after the shuttle in frustration.
Dong scored the match winner with a smash-and-kill combination. The
scoreline: 15-2 and 15-8.
China was now ahead 2 matches to 1.
In the men's doubles match, the Chinese unexpectedly paired Liu Yong with
singles ace Sun Jun to battle world number ones Sigit Budiarto and Chandra
The instant pairing did not work for the Chinese. The Indonesians took an
early 8-1 lead with many errors from the Chinese. Sun Jun's quick reflexes
and a dropping of Indonesian intensity helped the Chinese come closer at 8
points to the Indonesians' 10.
Sigit and Wijaya then clamped down, winning the very fast driving rallies
and controlling the net. The Indonesians took the first 15-8.
The seocond was more of the same. Sigit and Wijaya again raced to a 13-3
lead. The Chinese got three points back with a Sun Jun crosscourt drive to
the corner, excellent smash defending that induced a Wijaya backhanded kill
error, and a Sun Jun drive to the line.
At 13-6, effective Indonesian defense against the Chinese smashes got the
service back. Sun Jun then gave the Indonesians a match point when his
crosscourt smash went out-of-bounds.
Liu's drive that found the net ended the match with the score 15-8 and 15-6
in favor of the Indonesians.
China and Indonesia now had two matches apiece with the women's doubles to
China's Ge Fei and Gu Jun, the world number ones, played Resiana Zelin and
Eliza, the world number twos.
Ge and Gu were too strong and too quick for the Indonesians.
In the first game, Ge and Gu raced to a 14-3 lead. A Ge Fei smash to Zelin
tallied the game winner for the Chinese pair.
In the second game, the Chinese again limited the Indonesians to three
points. Ahead by a wide margin at 12-3, the Chinese were on the attack. Gu's
sudden drop shot surprised Zelin to put the score at 13-3.
Another Chinese attack and again another drop shot this time from Ge Fei
At match point, the Chinese women again got the attack. Gu smashed and
smashed from the rearcourt until the Indonesians blocked one into the
powerzone of Ge Fei waiting at the net. Ge blasted the shuttle to the floor
on the Indonesian end for the winner.
China will meet the winner of the Denmark-Korea semifinal being played
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