** 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 **

December 14, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Sun Jun of China erased the painful memories of a bad fall in last year's World Grand Prix Finals men's singles championship match against Feng Permadi of Taiwan when he defeated favoured teammate Dong Jiong this evening in the final of this year's edition of badminton's tournament of champions. Sun beat an erratic and unfocused Dong 15-9 and 15-6 to take the men's singles title and US$24,800 in prize money.

The speedy and quick Sun outplayed and outsteadied Dong throughout most of the match. Dong had a few moments when his play was of the quality that he produced yesterday in defeating Olympic gold medalist Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen, but his errors and below-par play in the middle parts of both games allowed Sun to take big leads which Dong was unable to overcome.

In the first game, Sun gained a 12-8 advantage and even though Dong settled down and played with more intensity, the steady-playing Sun matched Dong stroke for stroke until he was able to break through for scores on winners or Dong errors.

In the second, Sun and Dong exchanged points in the early going. Sun took a slight lead at 3-2 but Dong quickly came back to knot the game up at 3-all. Dong moved ahead when Sun allowed a clear to land, thinking that the shuttle was flying out-of-bounds. The two then had a long exchange of clears and drops. The point was settled with a Dong crosscourt netshot. Dong was now ahead 5-3.

An errant smash by Sun put Dong further ahead 6-3. It now looked like Dong was back in the hunt. Sun however increased the pace and the intensity of his attack. Sun came back to tie up the game at 6-all and then he moved ahead with rallies that maneuvered Dong into poor positions and either opened the way for outright winners or induced errors from Dong.

Sun pulled away with point after point while an unfocused Dong's score stayed at 6. Sun gained championship point at 14-6 on a Dong error, and, at the first opportunity, quickly ended the match with a low flat serve that Dong returned wide.

In last year's championship match, Sun slipped while retrieving a dropshot from Fung Permadi and injured his right knee. Sun gamely struggled on but lost to the player from Taiwan. At the world championships in June, Sun also lost in the final when he suffered a bad case of leg cramps. In this World Grand Prix Finals championship match, there was no slipping and no cramping for the determined Sun Jun. There was only good, steady, focused and winning champion's play.