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Sudirman Cup: Indonesia, Korea Triumph

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

May 11, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Badminton powerhouse Indonesia flexed their muscles at Brondby Hallen in Copenhagen, Denmark today as they opened their 1999 campaign to capture the world mixed team championships and the Sudirman Cup. The Indons defeated Southeast Asian archrival Malaysia 4 matches to 1 and quickly made a semifinal berth a certainty.

Indonesia's mixed doubles aces Trikus Heryanto and Minarti Timur opened the scoring by whipping Chang Chong Ming and Joanne Quay 15-5 and 15-6. Cindana Hartono Kusuma, playing in the place of women's singles ace Mia Audina who is in mourning over the death of her mother two weeks ago and who did not make the trip to Copenhagen, followed with an easy win over Ng Mee Fen 11-6 and 11-1.

Hendrawan then clinched the team contest for Indonesia when he scored a comeback victory over Ong Ewe Hock 11-15, 15-8 and 15-4.

The Indonesians took the women's doubles match for their fourth win today. The Deyana Lomban and Indarti Isoliana teamed up to beat LIm Pek Siah and Ang Li Peng 15-6 and 15-9. The Malaysian men's doubles pair of Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah took the final match. They split the first two sets with Olympic champions Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky 17-14 and 12-15, then took a thriller of a decider in a tiebreak 17-15.

Korea rebounded from yesterday's disappointing loss to host Denmark by beating Sweden 4 matches to 1. Koreans Ra Kyung Min and Chung Jae Hee beat Marina Andrievskaia and Catrine Bengtsson in the opening women's doubles 15-9 and 15-10. Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon then beat Swedes Par-Gunnar Jonsson and Peter Axelsson 15-6 and 15-6 in the men's doubles.

Sweden's Tomas Johansson then defeated Ahn Jae Chang in the men's singles 10-15, 15-5 and 15-10 to give his side a glimmer of hope. The Koreans though had their well-rested women's single ace Kim Ji Hyun up their sleeves. Kim, who was not fielded yesterday against Denmark's world number three Camilla Martin in anticipation of today's important matchup with Sweden, outplayed Margit Borg 11-9 and 11-5 and clinched the contest for Korea.

In the closing mixed doubles match, Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min whipped Peter Axelsson and Catrine Bengtsson 15-4 and 15-8.

Barring a miraculous lopsided Swedish victory over Denmark tomorrow, Korea's win today puts them into a semifinal against the winner of the China-Indonesia contest also slated for tomorrow evening. Denmark looks certain to face the China-Indonesia loser in their half of the semifinals.

Meanwhile, Sweden and Malaysia will almost certainly face each other in the relegation playoff, the loser of which will be out of the championship group in 2001 under the current Sudirman Cup tournament grouping system.

In Group 2A, England swept past Russia 5-0 and Netherlands demolished the Scottish team 5-0. In Group 2B, Japan beat Germany 3-2 and Thailand defeated Taiwan 4-1. The teams in these two pools are playing for promotion to the championship group.

In other action, Team USA kept alive its hopes of moving up to Group 3. The Americans who lost a squeaker of a team contest to Switzerland yesterday beat the Czech Republic 4 matches to 1 today. They need a lopsided win over current Group 4A leader Iceland to move into the promotion playoff against the winner of Group 4B.

Canada, playing in Group 3, had a rest day.


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