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February 19, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The top-seeded teams in badminton's Thomas and Uber Cups (world men's and women's team championships) European Zone qualifying tournament made it through to the semifinal phase by posting emphatic victories today, the last day of second round competition.

Heavy favourite Denmark came through in both men's and women's events. The men's team, led by men's singles world number one Peter Gade-Christensen and Olympic gold medalist Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen, trounced Russia 5 matches to none, while the women, spearheaded by singles ace Camilla Martin and top doubles players Marlene Thomsen and Rikke Olsen, trounced Bulgaria 5-0.

Sweden's men's and women's teams also went through to the semis as did both of England's teams. Emerging power Netherlands also placed both of their teams in the semifinals, but the Dutchmen and the Dutchwomen had to struggle in their meetings today.

The Ukrainians took the Dutchmen into the fourth match before the pair of Lens and van Dalm was able to score the clinching third match victory. The women's rubber with the Russians was decided in the fifth match, with van Hooren and Jonathans prevailing over Yakusheva and Alferova.

In the Asian zone qualifier, powerhouse China whitewashed their opponents in second round action. The men, featuring singles world-beaters Sun Jun and Dong Jiong, walloped Taiwan while the women trounced Malaysia.

The Malaysian men had an easier time than expected, beating Singapore 5-0. They had thought that they would have a tough time against the Lions but the Singapore team kept their Chinese import, 1991 world champion Zhao Jianhua, on the sidelines. Zhao was instrumental in the Lions' march into the second round past the favoured Australians and figured in both Singaporean match victories yesterday against Japan.

Second round results:

Thursday at Sandefjord
Thomas Cup
Group W: Scotland 3 Norway 2, Denmark 5 Russia 0
Group X: England 4 Germany 1, Finland 4 Switzerland 1
Group Y: Portugal 3 Iceland 2, Netherlands 3 Ukraine 2
Group Z: USA 3 Poland 2, Sweden 5 Bulgaria 0

Final standings:
Group W: 1. Denmark; 2. Scotland; 3. Norway ; 4. Russia
Group X: 1. England; 2. Germany; 3. Finland; 4. Switzerland
Group Y: 1. Netherlands; 2. Ukraine; 3. Portugal; 4. Iceland
Group Z: 1. Sweden; 2. Bulgaria; 3. USA; 4. Poland

Uber Cup
Group W: France 3 Norway 2; Denmark 5 Bulgaria 0
Group X: Ukraine 4, Switzerland 1; Netherlands 3, Russia 2
Group Y: England 5 Scotland 0; Poland 3 Wales 2
Group Z: Ireland 3 USA 2; Sweden 3 Germany 2

Final standings:
Group W: 1. Denmark; 2. Bulgaria; 3. France; 4. Norway
Group X: 1. Netherlands; 2. Ukraine; 3. Russia; 4. Switzerland
Group Y: 1. England; 2. Scotland; 3. Poland; 4. Wales
Group Z: 1. Sweden; 2. Germany; 3. Ireland; 4. USA

Thursday at Manila (partial)
Thomas Cup
Group X: China 5 Taiwan 0; Korea 5 Canada 0
Group Y: Malaysia 5, Singapore 0
Uber Cup
Group X: China 5 Malaysia 0; Japan 4 New Zealand 1
Group Y: Korea 5 Canada 0; Taiwan 5 Singapore 0