** This NEW SHUTTLENWS REPORT is presented by badminton world champions YANG YANG (1987 and 1989) and ZHAO JIAN HUA (1991) and by YANG YANG BADMINTON PRODUCTS **

September 3, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - At the Asia badminton championships now underway at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Korean and Indian national badminton teams have been forced to field lineups without some of their top players.

Korea is missing the services of all their top men's singles players. Park Sung Woo, the Korean number one, is said to have retired from international competition and may be playing and coaching for a Japanese club. Kim Hak Kyun and Lee Kwang Jin, two other top singles players, have been called up for compulsory national service and are no longer training with the national squad. The same situation occured with Ahn Jae Chang last year.

India on the other hand is not able to field Pullela Gopichand, the Indian men's singles champion and Indian Open finalist this year, and Aparna Popat, the world junior women's singles silver medalist last year. Gopichand and Popat are coached by Prakash Padukone, the former star player from India who is seeking to supplant the official Badminton Association of India with his own recently formed group, the Indian Badminton Confederation.

However, the Asian Badminton Confederation, the organizers of the championships, and the International Badminton Federation recognize only the Badminton Association of India as the official body for the sport in India. As a result, the Indian entries to the Asian championships were handled by the official Indian association, who have decided not to enter players like Gopichand and Popat who are associated with Padukone and the new group.