** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products. HELP keep NEW SHUTTLENWS going - buy our sponsor's products. **


March 8, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The Korean coaching staff must have done their homework on China's Gong Zhichao, the world's number one women's singles player, very well. For the second encounter in a row, Korean player Kim Ji Hyun took the measure of Gong. And this time, it was a bit easier. Kim defeated the Chinese ace in the final of the Swedish Open badminton championships in Borlange in straight games, 12-10 and 11-8.

Two weeks ago at the Asian Uber Cup preliminaries in Pasig City, Philippines, Kim came back after Gong had match points in the second set to beat the world number one 4-11, 12-11 and 11-8.

Today, Kim beat Gong at her own game of patient rallying often ended by extremely sliced and deceptive dropshots. The Korean seemed able to read Gong's shots or was able to anticipate the Chinese player's next move. Kim also lobbed and cleared Gong all over the court, taxing the shorter Chinese player's energy reserves.

After losing the closely-fought first set in a tiebreak at 12-11, Gong opened up in the second game with a burst of points to lead at 8-4 . She seemed like she was going to take the match to a deciding third set, but Kim's tactics of moving Gong around in long rallies began to pay off. Gong's play tapered off and Kim was able to catch up and to pass the Chinese player to win at 11-8 for her first ever major international title.

In the men's singles final between two Chinese teammates, Luo Yigang and Chen Gang played a close first game which went into a five-point setting. The more experienced Luo however pulled out the win in the tiebreak 5-1 (18-14 game score). In the second, Luo ran away with the game, easily outscoring Chen 15-2.

Indonesia's Chandra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan took the men's doubles title, beating Chinese up-and-comers Yang Ming and Zhang Jun 15-3 and 15-6. Yang and Zhang were competing in their first major international final and were not able to match the quality of play of the world champion Wijaya and his partner Gunawan.

Jang Hye Ock and Ra Kyung Min of Korea won the women's doubles championship. Jang, one of the 1995 world champions and an Atlanta Olympics silver medalist, teamed up with Ra, winner of an Olympic silver medal in mixed doubles in 1996, to defeat Liu Zhong and Huang Nanyan of China 15-12 and 15-9 and to win their first major international crown as a pair.

In the mixed doubles final played yesterday, Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min of Korea defeated Chen Gang and Tang Yongshu of China 15-3 and 15-3.