Scotland Promoted To Division 2

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May 24, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Malaysia today rejoined the exclusive club of the top 6 badminton nations by winning the division 2 promotion playoff at the badminton world team championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Malaysia defeated Germany 3 matches to 2 to join China, Korea, Indonesia, Denmark,and Sweden in the premier division of world team competition.

Malaysia replaces England, loser to Sweden in the premier division relegation playoff last night.

The Malaysians got their 3 match victories from Ong Ewe Hock in the men's singles, Law Pei Pei in the women's singles, and the pair of Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock in the men's doubles.

Germany had opened up the fixture with a win in the mixed doubles. Michael Keck and Karen Stechmann defeated Cheah Soon Kit and Lim Pek Siah 8-15, 15-11 and 15-7.

The mixed doubles loss was met with dismay from the Malaysian supporters, because it meant that the Malaysian women now had to win either the singles or the doubles if Malaysia was to post a win over Germany and gain entry into the exclusive premier division.

Ong Ewe Hock did the expected and easily beat Oliver Pongratz 15-3 and 15-3 in the men's singles to equalize for Malaysia.

Law Pei Pei then contributed a victory in the women's singles. She defeated Heike Schonharting 12-10 and 11-6 to brighten Malaysia's chances.

Lim Pek Siah and Chor Hooi Yee tried their best to clinch for Malaysia with a win in the women's doubles, but fell one game short. Karen Stechmann and Kerstin Ubben had taken the first game from Lim and Chor 15-7. The Malaysian women came back strong in the second, winning at 15-10, but the determined Germans outplayed Lim and Chor in the third, 15-8, to keep Germany alive in the promotion playoff.

Malaysia though still had a trump card waiting in the wings, men's doubles Olympic silver medalists Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock. Cheah and Yap did not disappoint the Malaysian supporters. The duo beat Michael Helber and Bjorn Siegemund 15-10 and 15-13 to win the playoff for Malaysia.

Host nation Scotland was another promotion playoff winner. The Scots defeated Australia 3 matches to 2 in division 3 to gain entry into division 2, replacing Canada who lost the division 2 relegation playoff to Thailand 3 matches to 2.

The Scotland-Australia fixture hung in the balance until the third game of the closing women's doubles match with Elinor Middlemiss and Alexis Blanchflower finally overcoming Lisa Campbell and Rhonda Cator 15-6.