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October 20, 1998 (NEW SHUTLENWS) - The Headline News channel of Cable News Network (CNN) has selected the last two rallies of the mixed doubles final at the recently-concluded Danish Open badminton championships as today's Play of the Day.

Play of the Day is a daily feature in the sports segment of the 30-minute long Headline News program which airs on a continuous basis throughout the day. An extraordinary or unusual sports feat is picked from the many sports programs throughout the world that send feeds or tape to CNN. This selected feat is then aired about 20 times throughout the day on Headline News and also on CNN's Airport News Network. These news services are available in most of the U.S.A. and Canada.

Today's Play of the Day features two high-action, jumpsmashing rallies from the mixed doubles final of last week's Danish Open between the team of Jon Holst-Christensen and Ann Jorgensen and the pair of Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen. Both pairs are from Denmark.

The action is described by the Headline News anchorperson as "This is not the badminton that you know. This is hard-hitting stuff ...".

According to Chris Trenholme of Badminton USA, they "are very excited about having world-class badminton showcased on (U.S.) national television."

"One of the best ways to increase the popularity of badminton in the United States is by exposing the public to elite-level play by the world's best" Mr. Trenholme added. Mr. Trenholme is the national coaching administrator for the association.

Martin Coe of the International Group for the Promotion of Badminton, an unofficial group of badminton enthusiasts who are trying to get more media exposure for the sport in the U.S.A., said that the showing of any badminton on U.S. television, specially as the Play of the Day on a service with the great reach of CNN's Headline News, is a great promotion for the sport and a very welcome development since U.S. national television almost never features badminton.

Mr. Coe said that the showcasing of the Danish Open mixed doubles final as the Headline News Play of the Day means about 12-15 minutes of television exposure for the sport today, since the videoclip is replayed once or twice every hour. Mr. Coe also mentioned that, together with the two-minute clip on ESPN's World Masters Games review in mid-August, this is the most nationwide TV time that the sport has had in the past 4 years.

Coe expressed the hope that all badminton players and fans in the U.S.A. write, fax or e-mail CNN with positive comments about today's Play of the Day. He said that CNN or Turner Sports (the sister organization of CNN specializing in sports events) might feature more badminton if they realize that there are tens of thousands of badminton fans out there.