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November 29, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Budi Santoso of Indonesia today won his first major international title in badminton when he convincingly beat China's Chen Gang in the men's singles championship match at the Hong Kong Open, 15-10 and 15-10.

Santoso, aged 23, came close late last month at the Indonesian Open. He surprisingly gained the finals where he played nervously and lost to Yong Hock Kin of Malaysia.

Santoso was more at ease today as he put on a display of strong attacking shots, inch-perfect placements, quick court movement and excellent defense in defeating Chen Gang. The Indonesian frustrated Chen several times with almost miraculous blocks and pickups barely inches off the floor. He would then turn the tables on a surprised Chen and go on the attack.

In one rally in the second game with the score at 10-8 (Santoso ahead), Chen struck what looked like a certain winner, but Santoso quickly raced to the shuttle and blocked it back. Chen was forced into a short reply which the Indonesian then smashed down the line. The Chinese player fell to floor, perhaps stunned and frustrated by the turnaround in the rally and exhausted by the play.

Santoso pulled away after this to gain match point at 14-8. Once again, Chen displayed his frustration, this time by banging his racket on the floor. The Chinese player stiffened and fought off a match point. He then came back to mark two points and put the score at 14-10. At this juncture, Santoso was able to end Chen's run and regained the service. He then scored the title winner when Chen hit the shuttle into the net.

In the women's singles final, top seed Camilla Martin of Denmark overwhelmed Lidya Djaelawidjaya of Indonesia 11-3 and 11-0 to take her third major title of 1998.

Chandra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan of Indonesia won the men's doubles crown. The Indon pair beat Denmark's Jens Eriksen and Jesper Larsen 15-10, 15-9 in the final today.

Denmark though went home with a second title to add to Camilla Martin's , courtesy of Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen in the mixed doubles. The duo, ranked number one in the world, defeated Simon Archer and Joanne Goode of England 8-15, 15-7 and 15-8 in the best contest of the day.

In the women's doubles title match, the up-and-coming Chinese pair of Chen Lin and Jiang Xuelian beat beat teammates Qian Hong and Liu Lu 15-4 and 15-11.



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