** 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 27, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Men's singles world number one Peter Gade-Christensen of Denmark will not be competing in the Copenhagen Masters international invitational badminton tournament that starts today at the Circusbygningen in Copenhagen, Denmark. According to Thomas Lund, the former world mixed doubles champion and now the sportschief at the Dansk Badminton Forbund (Danish Badminton Association), the 21-year old top player is exhausted and worn out from a year-long tournament schedule that had him traveling all over the world from January until early December.

Gade's absence casts China's Sun Jun, winner of the recently-concluded 1997 World Grand Prix Finals, into role of the favorite, although 1997 world champion Peter Rasmussen of Denmark, 1996 Olympic gold medal winner Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen, also of Denmark, and 1995 world champion Heryanto Arbi of Indonesian also have excellent chances of bagging men's singles top honors at the tournament.

The Copenhagen Masters is an invitational tournament featuring the top Danish men's singles, women's singles, and men's doubles players as well as players from the top badminton nations. Women's doubles and mixed doubles events are not being played at the tournament. The competition has on offer a total purse of about 50,000 US dollars.

The Masters starts with a round-robin phase. The players in each of the three events have been pooled into two groups of three entries apiece who will play the other members of their group today and on Sunday. The winner of each pool will move into the finals scheduled for Monday evening.

Following is the final list of players that will be competing at the Copenhagen Masters (The names published by New Shuttlenws on December 25, 1997 were the invitees and alternates - Editor):

Men's Singles
Group A: Sun Jun (China), Peter Rasmussen (Denmark), Ardy B. Wiranata (Indonesia)
Group B: Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen (Denmark), Heryanto Arbi (Indonesia), Jeroen van Dijk (Netherlands)

Women's Singles
Group A: Gong Zhichao (China), Marina Andrievskaya (Sweden), Mette Pedersen (Denmark)
Group B: Camilla Martin (Denmark), Zeng Yaqiong (China), Olivia (Indonesia)

Men's Doubles
Group A: Chandra Wijaya/Tony Gunawan (Indonesia), Jon Holst-Christensen/ Michael Sogaard (Denmark), Peter Axelsson/Par-Gunnar Jonsson (Sweden)
Group B: Jens Eriksen/Jesper Larsen (Denmark), Simon Archer/Chris Hunt (England), Jeremy Gan/Chan Chong Ming (Malaysia)