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** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and their Western USA agents BADMINTON ALLEY. **

February 8, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Germany's top-rated badminton men's singles player, Oliver Pongratz, proved that he is still his country's best when he won the German men's singles title yesterday at the national championships in Bielefeld. Pongratz defeated the youthful Mike Joppien in the title match 15-10 and 15-7.

Heike Schonharting joined Pongratz as one of Germany's best in badminton when she captured the women's singles title. She beat Katja Michalowsky in the final 11-7 and 11-2.

Karen Stechmann was a double champion. She teamed up with Nicole Grether to capture the women's doubles gold medal, and partnered Bjorn Siegemund to the mixed doubles title. In the women's doubles final, Stechmann and Grether had taken a close first game from Nicole Tummer and Katrin Piotrowski 17-14 and were ahead 4-0 in the second when one of their opponents was unable to keep on playing because of injury.

In the mixed doubles championship match, Stechmann and Siegemund beat Michael Keck and Nicole Pitro 15-2 and 15-11.

Siegemund also won two titles. He and Michael Helber took the men's doubles crown with their final match victory over Sebatian Ottrembka and Joachim Tesche.

Semifinal results from the German national championships:

Men's Singles
Oliver Pongratz beat Andreas Wolk 15-6, 15-0
Mike Joppien beat Soren Bredenkamp 15-10, 15-10
Women's Singles
Heike Schonharting beat Nicole Grether 11-9, 11-7
Katja Michalowsky beat Petra Overzier 11-7, 11-7
Men's Doubles
Michael Helber/Bjorn Siegemund beat Uwe Ossenbrink/Kai Mitteldorf 15-7, 15-9
Sebastian Ottrembka/Joachim Tesche beat Michael Keck/Christian Mohr by walkover
Women's Doubles
Karen Stechmann/Nicole Grether beat Petra Overzier/Anne Honscheid 15-5, 15-6
Nicole Tummer/Katrin Piotrowski beat Nicole Pitro/Annika Sietz 15-11, 15-13
Mixed Doubles
Michael Keck/Nicol Pitro beat Thomas Tesche/Anja Weber 15-7, 15-5
Bjorn Siegemund/Karen Stechman beat Christian Mohr/Katrin Schmidt 15-7, 15-5


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