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World Championships: Korea, England Set For Mixed Title Clash

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

May 21, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Korea's Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min and England's Simon Archer and Joanne Goode today set up a final battle for the badminton mixed doubles world title when both pairs overcame their respective semifinal opponents at the world individual championships being held in the Copenhagen suburb of Brondby in Denmark.

The two pairs who are seeded number one and number two at the tournament have been vying with each other for supremacy in mixed doubles since February this year at the World Grand Prix Finals. The Koreans prevailed in February, but Archer and Goode had their revenge in March at the All-England. When the two combos meet in the final tomorrow, it will not be just to see which one is the better, it will be for one of the two greatest of badminton honors - a world championship.

In their semifinal this evening, Archer and Goode clobbered Denmark's Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen 15-5 and 15-9 in a match filled with many great rallies and exchanges. The English though often outsteadied the two Danes and would often end up with the winning shot despite a great effort from Sogaard and Olsen.

The first game was close early, but after they had gotten the score to 5-all, Archer and Goode went on a scoring spree, reaching game point at 14-5 on an excellent crosscourt drive from Archer that caught Sogaard and Olsen on the same side of the court.

The English did not waste any time and took the game 15-5 when Goode finished off an Archer barrage of smashes with a point-scoring kill.

In the second, the Danes took a small 2-0 lead early on an error by Goode and then a touch crosscourt block by Sogaard that fell into an empty space on the English side of the court.

Archer and Goode though began to assert themselves again and captured the lead. The English did not relinquish the initiative after that despite a Danish surge to close in at 6-7. Archer and Goode pounded away to reach a 12-7 lead on kills, a deceptive Archer jumpdrop, an Archer backhand smash as well as good defense that frustrated Sogaard into errors.

The Englih reached match point at 14-7 when Olsen lifted a return of serve wide of the court. The Danes though saved one match point and then scored two to put the score at 9-14, before Sogaard ended their service turn with a shot that sailed long.

Sogaard and Olsen saved another match point with a great rally but could not hold the English off for long. On the second serve, Archer put the pressure on with attacking shots. Sogaard tried to place a block crosscourt into an open space but his backhanded touch shot failed to land in play.

Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Moon were tested in their semifinal by the 1997 world champions Liu Yong and Ge Fei. It took the Koreans three sets before they could be certain of their place in the championship match.

Kim and Ra took the first game 15-7 mainly on mistakes by a less-than-sharp Ge Fei. Ge found her timing in the second and began to dominate the play at the net, finishing off Liu's smash and drop attacks with either a kill or a net placement. The Chinese captured the second 15-7.

In the decider, the Koreans got off to an early 3-0 lead on mistakes by Liu, including a receiver foot fault. Ge's good play at the net started the Chinese going and they tied the score at 3-all. The Koreans though moved ahead to an 11-7 lead mainly on steadier play.

Liu's wide lift under pressure put the Koreans further ahead 12-7. Ge then mistimed a drive reply to Kim and gave the Koreans their thirteenth point.

After services changed hands, Ge and Liu teamed up on the attack to increase the Chinese score to 8. That though was their last gasp.

The Koreans got the serve back. Kim went on the attack and Ra finished for her side with a kill for point fourteen. Kim then served for the match. Liu drove the return back at Kim but the Korean countered with a very fast drive of his own directed at Ge. Ge tried to reply but her timing was a hair too show. She mishit the shuttle and the Koreans were into the final with the score at 15-8.


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