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

February 24, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Sun Jun of China, the defending men's singles champion at the World Grand Prix Finals of badminton, nearly became an upset victim on the opening day of competition at the 1998 edition of the sport's tournament of champions now underway at Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei. Sun, who said he was still getting over the effects of last week's Chinese New Year celebrations, was way off-form in the first game and in the early part of the second in his round-robin stage matchup with Budi Santoso of Indonesia.

Sun lost the opener 15-12 and was way behind in the second 6-11 before he got into full gear. He caught up to Santoso with a combination of scoring jumpsmashes and jumpdrops as well as quickfooted retrieves. He won the second 15-6 and the deciding third set 15-7.

World number one Peter Gade of Denmark showed that he may be fully recovered from the viral infection that had kept him out of the first two major open tournaments this year and that he will be a force to contend with in the Grand Prix Finals. He defeated Thomas Johansson of Sweden handily 15-2 and 15-10.

In men's doubles, Olympic champions and heavy favourites Rexy Mainaky and Ricky Subagja of Indonesia were upended by teammates Flandy Limpele and Eng Hian 15-6, 8-15 and 15-10, while in mixed doubles, group top seeds Trikus Heryanto and Minarti Timur of Indonesia were beaten by Simon Archer and Joanne Goode of England 15-8, 7-15 and 15-5.

None of the losers in today's action are out of the running, though. The first stage of the Grand Prix Finals is a round-robin affair with the top players in each of four groups in the singles events going through to the semifinals and the top two pairs in each of the two groups in the doubles events making it to the final four.

The 1998 edition of the World Grand Prix Finals is usually staged in early December but was delayed to this week because of conflicts with the Asian Games in December as well as various major religious and cultural holidays and observances.

Unofficial summary of today's results:

Men's Singles
Group A - Peter Gade (Denmark) beat Thomas Johansson (Sweden) 15-2, 15-10; Chen Gang (China) beat Rashid Sidek (Malaysia) 15-11, 15-11
Group B - Heryanto Arbi (Indonesia) beat Luo Yigang (China) 3-15, 17-15, 15-7; Ong Ewe Hock (Malaysia) beat Kenneth Jonassen (Denmark) 15-10, 15-7
Group C - Dong Jiong (China) beat Hendrawan (Indonesia) 15-11, 15-7; Yong Hock Kin (Malaysia) beat Jeroen Van Dijk (Netherland) 15-7, 15-3
Group D - Sun Jun (China) beat Budi Santoso (Indonesia) 12-15, 15-11, 15-7; Poul-Erik Hoyer (Denmark) beat Roslin Hashim (Malaysia) 15-10, 15-7

Women's Singles
Group A - Ye Zhaoying (China) beat Zhou Mi (China) 11-3, 5-11, 11-2
Group B - Mia Audina (Indonesia) beat Mette Pedersen (Denmark) 11-4, 11-0
Group C - Camilla Martin (Denmark) beat Margit Borg (Sweden) 10-13, 11-1, 11-7
Group D - Gong Zhichao (China) beat Kelly Morgan (Wales) 11-3, 11-5

Men's Doubles
Group A - Flandy Limpele and Eng Hian (Indonesia) beat Rexy Mainaky and Ricky Subagja (Indonesia) 15-6, 8-15, 15-10; Zhang Jun and Zhang Wei (China) beat Peter Axelsson and Par-Gunnar Jonsson (Sweden) 15-9, 15-10
Group B - Denny Kantono and Antonius Budi Ariantho (Indonesia) beat Tony Gunawan and Haryanto Halim (Indonesia) 15-10, 10-15, 15-10; Jens Eriksen and Jesper Larsen (Denmark) beat Simon Archer and Chris Hunt (England) 11-15, 15-8, 15-8

Women's Doubles
Group A - Ann Jorgensen and Majken Vange (Denmark) beat Joanne Goode and Donna Kellogg (England) 15-2, 15-12; Ge Fei and Gu Jun (China) beat Haruko Matsuda and Yoshiko Iwata (Japan) 15-2, 15-3
Group B - Marlene Thomsen and Rikke Olsen (Denmark) beat Pernille Harder and Helene Kirkegaard (Denmark) 11-15, 15-8, 15-8 (Harder and Kirkegaard replaced Van Hooren and Jonathans of Netherland); Yang Wei and Huang Nanyan (China) beat Eliza Nathanael and Deyana Lomban (Indonesia) 17-14, 15-0 (Eliza suffered muscle spasms but continued to play)

Mixed Doubles
Group A - Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen (Denmark) beat Jon Holst-Christensen and Ann Jorgensen 15-9, 15-9; Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min (Korea) beat Quinten Van Dalm and Nicole Van Hooren (Netherland) 15-11, 15-5
Group B - Simon Archer and Joanne Goode (England) beat Heryanto Trikus and Minarti Timur (Indonesia) 15-8, 7-15, 15-5; Jens Eriksen and Marlene Thomsen (Denmark) beat Janek Roos and Helene Kirkegaard (Denmark) 13-15, 15-11, 15-12


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