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December 3, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Players from badminton powers China, Denmark and Indonesia dominated the final list of qualifiers for the World Grand Prix Finals of badminton, the sport's annual tournament of champions and top performers for the year. Chinese competitors landed 13 qualifying spots, while Denmark and Indonesia each have 11 qualifiers. England and Malaysia have four entries apiece. Japan, Korea, Netherland and Sweden each have two qualifiers, and, in a historic first, Wales has qualified one player.

Only the world's top sixteen men's singles players, top twelve women's singles, and top eight pairs in each of the three doubles events in the ranking list after the end of November qualify to play in the World Grand Prix Finals, badminton's richest tournament in terms of prize money.

Four of the reigning world champions failed to make the grade for the Finals. World men's singles champion Peter Rasmussen was hampered by injury for most of the year and did not have enough ranking points to qualify. Because mixed doubles champion Liu Yong of China has had to take some time off due to injury and has also been concentrating on the men's doubles event when he is fit enough to compete, he will be absent from the Grand Prix Finals. His partner, Ge Fei, a world champion in both mixed and women's doubles, though has booked a place in the women's pairs event.

World men's doubles champions Chandra Wijaya and Sigit Budiarto also did not make the list of qualifiers, Budiarto has been suspended from international competition until November 15, 1999 for using banned steroidal substances.

Indonesian near-legend Susi Susanti is among those who qualified for the women's singles event. Susanti though is pregnant and will not be competing. Her place will probably be taken by Margit Borg of Sweden who is ranked number thirteen.

The World Grand Prix Finals is usually held in early December, but the 1998 edition will be held in late February, 1999 due to the Asian Games scheduled for the second and third weeks of December. The site of the Finals had been awarded to Indonesia, but has been moved to Brunei because of the continuing unsettled political situation in the former.

The list of qualifiers:
Men's Singles - Sun Jun (China), Luo Yigang (China), Chen Gang (China), Dong Jiong (China), Peter Gade (Denmark), Poul-Erik Hoyer (Denmark), Kenneth Jonassen (Denmark), Hendrawan (Indonesia), Budi Santoso (Indonesia), Heryanto Arbi (Indonesia), Yong Hock Kin (Malaysia), Ong Ewe Hock (Malaysia), Rashid Sidek (Malaysia), Roslin Hashim (Malaysia), Jeroen Van Dijk (Netherland), Thomas Johansson (Sweden)
Women's Singles - Ye Zhaoying (China), Gong Zhichao (China), Zhang Ning (China), Dai Yun (China), Zhou Mi (China), Camilla Martin (Denmark), Mette Pedersen (Denmark), Mia Audina (Indonesia), Susi Susanti (Indonesia), Yasuko Mizui (Japan), Kim Ji Hyun (Korea), Kelly Morgan (Wales)
Men's Doubles - Zhang Wei/Zhang Jun (China), Jens Eriksen/Jesper Larsen (Denmark), Chris Hunt/Simon Archer (England), Ricky Subagja/Rexy Mainaky (Indonesia), Tony Gunawan/Haryanto Halim (Indonesia), Flandy Limpele/Hian Eng (Indonesia), Denny Kantono/Antonius Budi Iriantho (Indonesia), Peter Axelsson/ Par-Gunnar Jonsson (Sweden)
Women's Doubles - Ge Fei/Gu Jun (China), Qin Yiyuan/Tang Hetian (China), Yang Wei/Huang Nanyan (China), Marlene Thomsen/Rikke Olsen (Denmark), Ann Jorgensen/Majken Vange (Denmark), Joanne Goode/Donna Kellogg (England), Eliza Nathanael/Deyana Lomban (Indonesia), Haruko Matsuda/Yoshiko Iwata (Japan)
Mixed Doubles - Michael Sogaard/Rikke Olsen (Denmark), Jon Holst-Christensen/ Ann Jorgensen (Denmark), Jens Eriksen/Marlene Thomsen (Denmark), Simon Archer/ Joanne Goode (England), Chris Hunt/Donna Kellogg (Denmark), Trikus Heryanto/ Minarti Timur (Indonesia), Kim Dong Moon/Ra Kyung Min (Korea), Quinten Van Dalm/Nicole Van Hooren (Netherland)



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