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January 17, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Fung Permadi, the 31-year old highly experienced Taiwanese men's singles specialist, exhibited a different style of play in today's Korean Open badminton championships final in Seoul to defeat Denmark's Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen and take home a big-time (for the sport of badminton) 20,000 US dollar purse. Permadi, a former Indonesian national team member who moved to Taiwan after he was dropped from the team and who is more known as a retriever and stroke player, used a more aggressive and attacking game in beating the 6-foot 4-inch tall Dane 17-14 and 15-6.

The Permadi-Stuer match started off with Stuer inching to a small 2-0 lead. Permadi countered to tie up the game at 3-all, but the Dane rattled off several points to take a 6-3 lead. Permadi put the pressure on with a mixture of shots and forced Stuer into three errors that put the score at 6-all.

The Taiwanese player then took a 7-6 when he ended a rally with a leaping smash. Permadi slowly increased his lead to 10-6, frustrating Stuer on the Dane's service turns while scoring sporadically.

Leading at 10-6, Permadi once again rallied and moved Stuer around until he got the Dane to hit a crosscourt overhead shot out of bounds. The Dane started to labor and slow down as Permadi's shot combinations made him twist and turn and also bend his tall frame to retrieve the shuttle.

Stuer though was not done for. The determined Dane came back to notch 2 points before Permadi added 2 of his own to set the score at 13-8. Stuer fought back with another 2 markers and then scored with a jumpsmash to come closer at 11-13.

Permadi erased Stuer's service turn with a combination jumpsmash and kill. The Dane countered and got the service back. On his next service turn, Stuer sent a Permadi reply crosscourt with a scoring, crackling drive. He was now only a point behind, 12-13.

Permadi ended Stuer's turn with another jumpsmash to the backhand that had the Dane all twisted in a futile effort to block the shuttle. The Taiwanese player then reached game point with a steep crosscourt dropshot that had the tall Stuer bending and stretching in vain.

Stuer though did not give up. He stopped Permadi's service. On his turn, he used very tight net play to pressure Permadi into a short lift. Stuer then banged the shuttle crosscourt for a winner. On his next service, the Dane maneuvered Permadi into a high shot that he leaped at and smashed to tie the game up at 14-all. Stuer had forced a tiebreak (setting).

The tiebreak started with neither player able to score. Stuer lost his first turn when he lifted a Permadi shot long. Permadi gave up his serve when he powered a kill out of bounds. On Stuer's second service turn, Permadi ended the rally when he surprised Stuer with a backhand overhead halfsmash.

Permadi notched the first point of the setting when he induced Stuer into an error. The Taiwanese player followed up with a scoring smash after he had wrongfooted Stuer into a scrambling forehanded punch clear that flew short. Permadi was now at game point 16-14.

A determined Stuer fought back. He wiped out Permadi's service turn with a jumpsmash. On the next rally, he and Permadi both played determinedly and exchanged shots to different parts of the court. Stuer though could not keep up the rally and he sent a crosscourt net shot wide to give the service back to Permadi.

Permadi once more had serve at game point. He got Stuer into an exchange at the net and induced the Dane into a slightly loose net shot. Permadi then pounded the shuttle into Stuer's half of the court for the game winner.

The close first game and Permadi's shot combinations must have worn Stuer out, because Permadi easily raced to a commanding lead in the second. The Taiwanese player opened with a jumpsmash for a 1-0 lead and then zoomed to an 8-2 advantage with more scoring smashes and some Stuer errors.

Stuer fought back and tallied 3 points to put the score at 5-8. On the next rally, Stuer put Permadi under pressure with attacking play and forced him into a crosscourt backhand clear error. Stuer had pulled closer 6-8. This though was the Dane's last score.

Several Stuer mistakes gave Permadi more of a lead at 12-6. Stuer buckled down and the two played a great rally with both defending against the other's smashes and turning defense into offense. It was Permadi that was able to end the rally with a scoring crosscourt smash. Permadi now was two points away from the championship.

Stuer had his back to the proverbial wall. He tigerishly fought back and the two once again had a great rally. Unfortunately for Stuer, his crosscourt net attempt went awry, putting Permadi at championship point.

Permadi then served a net skimmer. Stuer had anticipated the stroke and he reached for the shuttle with his racket. He pounded a fast return in Permadi's direction. Permadi twisted his body to avoid the missile and the shuttle flew out-of-bounds. Permadi had won the championship 17-14 and 15-6.

In the first championship match of the day, Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min of Korea beat the defending world champions Liu Yong and Ge Fei of China 15-6 and 15-8. The Korean combination - Kim powering shots from the rear court and Ra patrolling the net - was very effective against Liu and Ge.

The Koreans took a commanding 6-1 lead in the first game and never were in trouble against the mistake-prone Chinese pair. A Liu Yong error put the Koreans at game point 14-6 and another Liu mistake gave Kim and Ra the game win.

In the second game, Liu and Ge settled down and raced to a 6-0 advantage, before Kim was able to score one for his side with a dropshot. A string of Chinese mistakes allowed the Koreans back into the game. Liu and Ge managed to fend the Koreans off at five and pulled to an 8-5 lead.

The Koreans though soon caught up at 8-all behind Kim's power and good Korean defense, and aided by Chinese mistakes. A scoring smash by Ra gave the Korean side the lead for good.

Kim and Ra pulled away to championship point 14-8 and then Kim put Liu and Ge away with a match-ending winner.

In the women's singles final between two Chinese teenagers - world junior champion Gong Ruina and Asian junior silver medalist Zhou Mi, the slightly more experienced Zhou outplayed a nervous Gong in the first game 11-6 and then outsteadied Gong in the second 13-12.

A pair of young Chinese players took the women's doubles crown. Yang Wei and Huang Nanyan beat their slightly more senior teammates Ge Fei and Zhang Ning in the final 15-10 and 15-1. Ge Fei holds the world championship with regular partner Gu Jun but was playing this tournament with singles specialist Zhang Ning after Gu was unable to make it to Seoul.

Indonesia's Flandy Limpele and Eng Hian defeated Denmark's Jesper Larsen and Jens Eriksen in the men's doubles title match. The Danes took the first game 15-6 and the Indonesians came back to win the second 15-7.

In the decider, the Danes played well early on and had leads of 4-0, 5-1, and 7-2. Limpele and Hian staged a fightback and closed in at 5-7, before Larsen and Eriksen were able to score again to put the score at 8-5.

The Indonesians benefited from the change of ends. Limpele and Hian pulled even at 8-all with three scores. They limited the Danes to only one more point while tallying 7 themselves to win the title at 15-9.


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