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Sudirman Cup: England, Thailand Into Promotion Showdown

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

May 13, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - England and Thailand today confirmed their berths in the playoff for promotion to the championship division of the Sudirman Cup world mixed team championships of badminton now being played in Brondby, just outside Copenhagen, Denmark. England confirmed their berth by sweeping their second division group A team contest this evening against Netherlands. Thailand, playing in group B of the second division, had to wait until the deciding third set of the last match in their contest with Japan before their youthful women's doubles pair of Sujitra Ekmongkolpaisarn and Saralee Thunthongkam was able to pull out an upset win over the more experienced and highly-rated combination of Haruko Matsuda and Yoshiko Iwata.

England's path to the promotion playoff was a relatively easy one. The English side went through their three team contests in the just-completed round-robin phase without dropping a single match. In today's matchup with the tough Dutch team, the women's doubles combination of Joanne Goode and Donna Kellogg beat Erica Van Den Heuvel and Nicole Van Hooren 2 games to 1 and men's doubles players Simon Archer and Nathan Robertson disposed of Quinten Van Dalm and Dennis Lens 2 games to none.

Veteran Darren Hall put in a surprising performance against Dicky Palyama. Hall trounced the younger Dutch player with unexpected ease 15-2 and 15-2 to clinch the team contest for England.

Julia Mann beat Brenda Beenhakker in the women's singles match 2 sets to 1, and 1999 All-England mixed doubles champions Simon Archer and Joanne Goode finished the Dutch off with their 2 sets to 1 victory over Chris Bruil and Erica Van Den Heuvel.

Thailand actually finished the round-robin phase in a three-way tie for first place in second division group B with Japan and Germany. The Thai team though had the best games won-games lost ratio and was awarded the top spot in the group by way of the tiebreaking system.

England and Thailand will clash tomorrow with the winner earning the right to play in the championship division in 2001.

The six teams in this year's championship division had no matches today and prepared for tomorrow night's semifinal and relegation playoff matchups. China will play Korea and Denmark will battle Indonesia in the semifinal contests, with the winners playing for the championship on Saturday. Malaysia will face Sweden in the relegation playoff with the loser dropping down to the second division in 2001.

Results of the key Thailand-Japan contest played tonight (names of Thai players first):
Mixed Doubles - Tesana Panvisvas and Saralee Thunthongkam beat Tadashi Ohtsuka and Naomi Murakami 2 games to 0
Men's Singles - Boonsak Polsana lost to Keita Masuda 1-2
Women's Singles - Sujitra Ekmongkolpaisarn lost to Yasuko Mizui 0-2
Men's Doubles - Pramote Terawiwatana and Kitipon Kitikul beat Shinji Ohta and Takuya Takehana 2-0
Women's Doubles - Sujitra Ekmongkolpaisarn and Saralee Thunthongkam beat Haruko Matsuda and Yoshiko Iwata 2-1


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