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April 24, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Today, an Olympic champion and a world champion both made their exits from the European individual badminton championships in Sofia, Bulgaria in the semifinal stage. Poul-Erik Hoyer of Denmark, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist in men's singles, went down to defeat at the hands of youthful compatriot Kenneth Jonassen, while Peter Rasmussen, the Danish world men's singles titleist in 1997, was unable to play due to a severely inflamed Achilles tendon and gave a walkover to world number two Peter Gade, still another Dane.

Hoyer was terribly off-form today and made error after error in his semifinal matchup against Jonassen, the Danish number five. Jonassen beat the Olympic champion 15-6 and 15-6.

Rasmussen's Achilles injury surfaced after his three-game quarterfinal match yesterday against Mark Constable and worsened overnight, causing the world champion to withdraw from the competition. With Rasmussen's withdrawal, world number two Peter Gade, the top seed at the tournament, moved into the finals without having to exert any effort.

In the women's singles semifinals, top-seed Camilla Martin of Denmark overcame a nagging shoulder injury and beat compatriot Mette Sorensen 11-7 and 12-11.

Martin kept massaging her sore right shoulder in between rallies throughout the match. The injury apparently worsened and affected Martin's play as the match went on. The second game was closely contested and Sorensen managed to play Martin to a standstill at 9-all. Sorensen then grabbed the upper hand in the three-point tiebreak. She had game point twice but Martin stopped her both times and then went on to win the set 12-11.

Kelly Morgan of Wales won the other women's singles semifinal. She beat Mette Pedersen of Denmark to become the first European singles finalist from the United Kingdom since 1990. Morgan was behind in the first game 7-9 when she increased the pace and played more aggressively. The Dane was not able to cope with the change in tempo and Morgan scored the next five points to win the set in a tiebreak 12-9. Morgan proceeded to win the second game 11-8.

In men's doubles, the in-form English pair of Simon Archer and Chris Hunt defeated Denmark's Jon Holst-Christensen and Michael Sogaard for the second time this week. Archer and Hunt beat the Danish pair 15-8 and 15-9. On Tuesday, the English duo beat Holst and Sogaard in the finals of the team event.

Sweden's Peter Axelsson and Par-Gunnar Jonsson put out England's Julian Robertson and Nathan Robertson in the other men's doubles semifinal 10-15, 15-10 and 15-10.

Women's doubles top-seeds Rikke Olsen and Marlene Thomsen and second-seeds Ann Jorgensen and Majken Vange set up an all-Denmark final with victories today. Olsen and Thomsen defeated England's Joanne Goode and Donna Kellogg 15-5 and 15-10, while Jorgensen and Vange fought off the Dutch pairing of Erica van den Heuvel and Monique Hoogland 12-15, 18-16 and 15-7.

In the mixed doubles semifinals, top-seeds Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen of Denmark defeated teammates Jon Holst and Ann Jorgensen 15-4 and 15-12, and Germany's Michael Keck and the Netherlands' Erica van den Heuvel upset Simon Archer and Joanne Goode of England.

Archer and Goode had taken the first game with ease 15-4 and were comfortably ahead 7-2 in the second. The two were perhaps too comfortable with the lead. Keck and van den Heuvel overhauled the English advantage and captured the set 15-11. The German-Dutch pair then took the decider 15-8.

Earlier in the day during the quarterfinals, Keck and van den Heuvel had combined to upset the second-seeds, Jens Eriksen and Marlene Thomsen of Denmark 15-7 and 15-4.

Other mixed doubles quarterfinal results:
Sogaard/Olsen (Denmark) beat Quinten van Dalm/Nicole van Hooren (Netherlands) 15-9, 15-9
Holst/Jorgensen (Denmark) beat Chris Hunt/Donna Kellogg (England) 15-9, 16-18, 15-11
Archer/Goode (England) beat Nikolai Zuev/Marina Yakusheva (Russia) 15-8, 15-11