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SWISS OPEN: GADE IS NUMBER ONE
March 22, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Peter Gade of Denmark today won the battle
between the two top-rated badminton men's singles players in the world when he
defeated Sun Jun of China in the finals of the Swiss Open championships at the
Saint Jakobshalle in Basel, 15-12, 8-15 and 15-11.
At the start of the day, it seemed as if the battle for the unofficial world
men's singles championship was not to be. Sun Jun had had a tough three-game
match in the semifinals against 1996 Olympic gold medalist Poul-Erik Hoyer of
Denmark, and, according to a person close to the Chinese team, had hurt one of
his knees slightly. The injury had worsened overnight and he had awakened
barely able to move around.
The game Sun though was determined to play and he went for physical therapy
and treatment. However, he was not yet ready by the time the men's singles
final was scheduled and it looked as if Gade would win the championship by a
walkover. After some quick negotiations by the tournament organizers and a
gracious accommodation by Gade and the Danish coaches, the men's singles
final was rescheduled for later in the day.
The match was worth the wait. Sun came out ready to do battle with Gade and
play they did. In the first game, Sun tried to overcome his injury and was
competitive against the taller Dane with his court coverage and fleetness of
foot for most of the opener. Gade though also showed that he could cover the
court as well as Sun and won the first set at 15-12. In the second,the Chinese
player was able to overcome Gade and he came out on top at 15-8.
In the decider, the two played with crowd-pleasing brilliance but it was Gade
who had the steadier game and who defeated Sun 15-11.
In the women's singles final, Camilla Martin of Denmark upended the world
champion Ye Zhaoying of China to take her fifth Swiss Open title. Martin beat
the Chinese player 12-9 and 11-8.
In the women's doubles championship match, Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China once
again proved themselves to be head-and-shoulders above the rest of the field.
The Chinese pair defeated the second-seeds from Denmark, Marlene Thomsen and
Rikke Olsen, in a runaway 15-7 and 15-4.
In the men's doubles final, Zhang Wei and Zhang Jun of China beat teammates
Liu Yong and Yu Jinhao 18-15 and 15-7 in a fast-paced match laced with quick
drives and jumpsmashing rallies that delighted the crowd.
In mixed doubles, Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen of Denmark upset their
top-seeded countrymen Jens Eriksen and Marlene Thomsen in the championship
match 15-17, 15-8 and 15-3.
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