** This NEW SHUTTLENWS REPORT is presented with the compliments of the Manitoba Badminton Association and the Treffpunkt Winnipeg Canoe Club **

September 20, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Lorena Blanco of Peru and the American men's doubles team of Mike Edstrom and Chris Hales scored upsets at today's semifinal stage of the Pan-American badminton championships being held at the Treffpunkt Winnipeg Canoe Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Blanco put out the women's singles second seed and the American tandem eliminated the top seeds in the men's doubles event.

Blanco, the fourth-seed in the women's singles event, defeated the heavily favoured Canadian player Charmaine Reid in a thrilling three-game encounter 11-7, 5-11 and 12-10. The second-seeded Canadian was erratic in the first, often hitting the shuttle out or into the net. Blanco was more consistent and also defended well against the heavy smashing of Reid. The Peruvian used soft blocks effectively against the Reid smash attack, frequently turning the Canadian's offense into a Reid net error or poor lift.

Reid reduced her errors in the second game and won 11-5.

In the third, Reid seemed like she was going to take the match as she moved quickly to match point 10-2. The Canadian then started to press and Blanco began to come back with patient rallying and her soft-blocking defense. Reid had several chances to end the match but Blanco frustrated her attempts to score.

At 10-7, Reid allowed a Blanco shot to land, thinking that it was out and that she had finally won. However, the line judge called the shot in.

Blanco pulled even at 10-all, to the delight of the small audience, and then scored the needed two points in the tiebreak, the last one on a final Reid error.

Blanco becomes the first Peruvian to reach the finals of a Pan-American badminton championships. She will play top-seed Denyse Julien of Canada in tomorrow's championship match.

Julien booked her spot in the final with her 11-9 and 11-4 victory over third-seeded teammate Kara Solmundson.

In one of the men's doubles semifinals, the unseeded Americans Edstrom and Hales suprised the top-seeds, Mike Beres and Bryan Moody of Canada. The left-handed Hales outplayed the Canadians at the net with his quick reflexes, winning most of the lightning-fast drive exchanges. The Canadians, aware of Edstrom's power from the rearcourt, tried to focus their play on Hales but the young American proved equal to the challenge, defending well and turning the Canadian attack into offense with drive blocks. Hales' short serves were also effective against Beres and Moody, forcing the Canadians into return errors or bad shots. With Edstrom providing steady support, the two Americans won 15-12 and 15-4.

In the other men's doubles semifinal, Kevin Han and Howard Bach of the U.S.A. defeated the Canadian veteran-rookie combination of Brent Olynyk and Marlon Samuel 15-6 and 15-2. Bach played a key role in the American victory with his quickness at the net and his high-jumping smashes.

With two American men's doubles pairs winning their semifinals, the team from the U.S.A. is assured of at least one Pan-American badminton title and is in contention to win another in the men's singles event with the top-seeded Kevin Han having won his semifinal match against Mario Carulla of Peru.

Han played two masterful games against the Peruvian and was in control for most of the match. The Chinese-American lefthander moved Carulla all over the court, using fast flat clears and pushes to the corners to induce an error or a poor return. Han won the match 15-3 and 15-4.

In the other men's singles semifinal, Canada's Mike Beres, the second seed, beat Kenneth Erichsen of Guatemala 15-9 and 15-6.

Canada, the host country, is assured of two championship titles. Top-seeds Milaine Cloutier and Robbyn Hermitage, and non-seeds Cindy Arthur and Jennifer Wong qualified for tomorrow's women's doubles finals, while the top-rated pair of Iain Sydie and Denyse Julien and the unseeded duo of Mike Beres and Kara Solmundson are in the mixed doubles championship match.

Cloutier and Hermitage beat the Peruvians Sandra Jimeno and Doriana Rivera 15-1 and 15-5 in their half of the semifinals, while Arthur and Wong defeated Terry Leyow and Nigella Saunders of Jamaica 15-6 and 15-1.

In the mixed doubles semifinals, Sydie and Julien disposed of teammates Brent Olynyk and Robbyn Hermitage 15-5 and 15-7, while Beres and Solmundson beat compatriots Bob Milroy and Jennifer Wong 15-4 and 15-9.

Results of the quarterfinal matches that were played earlier in the afternoon:

Men's Singles
Kevin Han (USA) beat Stuart Arthur (Canada) 15-2 and 15-9
Mario Carulla (Peru) beat Luis Lopezllera (Mexico) 15-9 and 15-2
Kenneth Erichsen (Guatemala) beat Howard Bach (USA) 13-15, 15-10 and 15-7
Mike Beres (Canada) beat Paulo Scala (Brazil) 15-1 and 15-2

Women's Singles
Denyse Julien (Canada) beat Robbyn Hermitage (Canada) 11-7 and 11-0
Kara Solmundson (Canada) beat Nigella Saunders (Jamaica) 11-1 and 11-1
Lorena Blanco (Peru) beat Sabrina Cassie (Trinidad-Tobago) 11-3 and 11-5
Charmaine Reid (Canada) beat Jennifer Wong (Canada) 11-2 and 11-1

Men's Doubles
M Beres/B Moody (Canada) beat L Santos/P Fam (Brazil) 15-2 and 15-5
M Edstrom/C Hales (USA) beat R Paul/R Richards (Jamaica) 15-10 and 15-2
H Bach/K Han (USA) beat S Arthur/I Sydie (Canada) 15-11, 12-15 and 15-4
B Olynyk/M Samuel (Canada) beat M Carulla/J Iturriaga (Peru) 13-15, 15-6 and 15-9

Women's Doubles
M Cloutier/R Hermitage (Canada) beat E Tang/S Wo (USA) 15-7 and 15-0
S Jimeno/D Rivera (Peru) beat S Cassie/Z Mack (Trinidad-Tobago) 18-13 and 15-5
T Leyow/N Saunders (Jamaica) beat C Reid/K Solmundson (Canada) 17-14 and 15-4
C Arthur/J Wong (Canada) beat X Bellido/L Blanco (Peru) 15-7 and 15-7

Mixed Doubles
I Sydie/D Julien (Canada) beat C Arthur/S Arthur (Canada) no score posted
B Olynyk/R Hermitage (Canada) beat M Samuel/C Gibbings (Canada) no score posted
R Milroy/J Wong (Canada) beat B Moody/M Cloutier (Canada) no score posted
M Beres/K Solmundson (Canada) beat A Stewart/N Saunders (Jamaica) no score posted