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December 15, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The 1998 Asian Games now underway in Bangkok, Thailand has not been kind to reigning world champions in the sport of badminton. Yesterday, men's doubles world champion Chandra Wijaya and his current partner Tony Gunawan of Indonesia were eliminated from the individual medal competition in the round-of-16. Today, women's singles champion Ye Zhaoying of China and mixed doubles champions Liu Yong and Ge Fei, also of China, were knocked out of the tournament in quarterfinal play.

Ye's elimination at the hands of lightly regarded Kanako Yonekura of Japan was the biggest surprise. After all, the top-seeded Ye had demolished the Japanese player in the opening game 11-0. However, the world champion took it too easy at the start of the second game and allowed Yonekura to get into the match. Ye tightened up her play in the second set too late. Yonekura by then had managed to force a tiebreak.

The Japanese player moved ahead in the setting and won the second 13-10. In the third, Yonekura was playing with more confidence while the world champion played hot and cold and inconsistently. In the end, Ye's off-form play gave Yonekura victory at 11-9.

Mixed doubles champions Liu and Ge, playing in their first tournament as a pair after 10 months of concentrating on the men's and women's doubles events, were easily eliminated by Indonesia's Trikus Heryanto and Minarti Timur 7-15 and 6-15. Both Liu and Ge though made it through to the semifinals separately in their other specialities, Liu in men's doubles with partner Yu Jinhao and Ge in women's doubles with Gu Jun with whom she holds the world women's doubles championship.

The women's singles third and fourth seeds were also put out. Like Ye, third seed Mia Audina of Indonesia lost her focus after an easy first 11-2 game win and dropped the next two to Korea's Lee Joo Hyun 7-11 and 7-11.

Fourth seed Kim Ji Hyun of Korea was upset by Sujitra Eakmongkolpaisarn of Thailand. The Thai player, buoyed by the cheering of the Thai spectators and helped by her country's warm temperature and a better understanding of the drift in Gymnasium 2 of the Thamassat Univerity Sports Complex, played her heart out and beat Kim 11-2, 4-11 and 11-5.

Second seed Gong Zhichao went thru to the semifinals easily. She beat Ng Mee Fen of Malaysia 11-7 and 11-3.

Gong will play Lee and Yonekura faces Eakmongkolpaisarn in the semifinals tomorrow.

In men's singles, top seed Sun Jun of China beat Ahn Jae Chang of Korea 15-9 and 17-14. Hendrawan of Indonesia defeated Roslin Hashim of Malaysia 15-11 and 15-6. Dong Jiong of China topped Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia 15-5 and 15-13 and Yong Hock Kin of Malaysia beat Pullela Gopi Chand of India 15-7 and 15-4.

Sun will face Hendrawan and Dong will battle Yong in tomorrow's semifinals.

Results of the other quarterfinals:

Men's Doubles
Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky (Indonesia) beat Khunakorn Sudhisodhi and Kitipon Kitikul (Thailand) 15-4, 15-12
Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yung Sung (Korea) beat Zhang Jun and Zhang Wei (China) 15-7, 15-11
Pramote Teerawiwatana and Siripong Siripol (Thailand) beat Chan Chong Ming and Jeremy Gan (Malaysia) 15-7, 13-15, 15-4
Liu Yong and Yu Jinhao (China) beat Kang Kyung Jin and Ha Tae Kwon (Korea) 15-13, 15-9

Women's Doubles
Ge Fei and Gu Jun (China) beat Indarti Isolina and Carmelita (Indonesia) 15-9, 15-3
Qin Yiyuan and Tang Hetian (China) beat Jangkrajangwong and Naraweerawut (Thailand) 15-3, 15-3
Eliza Nathanael and Deyana Lomban (Indonesia) beat Tsai Hui Min and Chen Li Chin (Taiwan) 15-8, 15-12
Ra Kyung Min and Chung Jae Hee (Korea) beat Yoshiko Iwata and Haruko Matsuda (Japan) 15-3, 15-7

Mixed Doubles
Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min (Korea) beat Chan Chong Ming and Joanne Swee Ling Quay (Malaysia) 15-3, 15-4
Zhang Jun and Qin Yiyuan (China) beat Liu Kwok Wai and Koon Wai Chee (Hong Kong) 15-4, 15-3
Lee Dong Soo and Yim Kyung Jin (Korea) beat Tesana Panvisavas and Sara Lee Thungtoongkam (Thailand) 15-12, 15-12


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