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Sudirman Cup: Malaysia Out Of Top Division

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

May 14, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Badminton-crazy Malaysia lost its place in the championship division of the world mixed team championships of badminton or Sudirman Cup competition being played in Brondby just outside of Copenhagen, Denmark. The Malaysian team who had only gained promotion to the top grouping in 1997 were soundly defeated by Sweden 4 matches to 1 in the relegation playoff held this evening.

In the mixed doubles opener, Swedes Peter Axelsson and Marina Andrievskaia beat Chew Choon Eng and Ang Li Peng 15-10 and 15-13. Margit Borg then defeated Woon Sze Mei 9-11, 11-1 and 11-0 in women's singles.

In the men's singles match that followed, Thomas Johansson upset Ong Ewe Hock 15-6 and 15-5 to put the Swedes beyond reach 3 matches to none.

Catrine Bengtsson and Marina Andrievskaia then combined to quash Lim Pek Siah and Joanne Quay 15-8 and 15-13 in the women's doubles match.

Men's doubles pair Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah provided the only bright light for the Malaysians. Choong and Lee defeated Par-Gunnar Jonsson and Peter Axelsson 15-9 and 15-13 in the closer to give Malaysia their only point in the relegation playoff contest.

Choong and Lee, who will be playing with different partners in next week's individual world championships, finished the tournament victorious in 4 matches, including a win over Olympic gold medalists Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky.

With the relegation playoff loss, Malaysia will drop down to play in the second division in the 2001 championships. Meanwhile, in the second division promotion playoff, England defeated Thailand 3 matches to 2 and earned their way back to the championship division.

Team Canada lost their third division third place playoff contest with Hong Kong 1 match to 4. The Canadians ended their 1999 Sudirman Cup campaign in 18th place overall, four rungs down from their 1997 finish.


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