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World Championships: Permadi Stuns Gade and Denmark

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

May 22, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Fung Permadi of Taiwan today stunned world men's singles number one Peter Gade and perhaps all of Denmark when he scored an upset victory over the top-rated player in a semifinal match at the world individual championships of badminton at the Copenhagen suburb of Brondby in Denmark.

Gade was highly touted to win today's semifinal over the 30-year old Permadi as well as to win the world men's singles title tomorrow. The veteran player from Taiwan though had other things in mind.

Permadi used his uncanny ability to dig out smashes and drops and to spin the tightest of net shots to play the high-flying, power-stroking Gade even-steven early in the first game. Permadi then inched ahead 9-8 when he got Gade to lift the shuttle long. The two then swapped scoreless service turns.

On his next turn, Permadi wrongfooted Gade with a deceptive shot. Gade had to scramble to return the shuttle and the Taiwanese player pounded a smash to count his tenth point.

Gade tried to equalize but Permadi kept his all-court play going with digs and lifts and netshots. He got his score up to 13-9 when Gade returned a high serve with an errant crosscourt jumpsmash. Gade got the serve back and then smashed to Permadi's forehand side for his tenth point.

Gade then gave up the serve when his short spinner went into the net. Another Gade jumpsmash service return error and Permadi was at game point. Gade fought back and scored a point with a jumpsmash after he had induced a short backhand clear from the Taiwanese.

Gade again gave up the serve on an error as he hit a half-kill too flat and sent the shuttle out-of-play. Permadi had game point again and his shots pressured the Dane into sending a crosscourt drive wide for his fifteenth and game-winning point.

The Danish crowd sat in stunned disbelief. This was supposed to be a cakewalk for Gade.

In the second, Gade came out strong and brought life and cheering to the Danish audience. He found a big hole in Permadi's defense - quick smashes to the backhand side and he soon found himself at game point 14-1. He then quickly scored with a half-court jumpsmash after a net exchange and a poor lift from Permadi.

The worried looks and murmurs in the Danish crowd had disappeared. The world was right-side up again, or so it seemed.

In the decider, Gade took up where he left off in the second. His powerstrokes as well as netplay took him to a 4-1 advantage. Permadi though had adjusted to Gade's attack to his backhand side and began to cover that weakness. He soon caught up to the Dane at 6-all, the equalizer coming on a Gade error at the net.

Gade inched away again. And Permadi pulled even again 8-all and then 9-all.

A Gade jumpsmash to Permadi's backand side got the Dane going again, 10-9 then 11-9 and 12-9 with another crosscourt jumpsmash to the backhand side.

Permadi dug in at this juncture and his sterling defending and all-court shot placement forced Gade into errors. The Taiwanese though was not able to score when it was his service turn several times.

He finally broke thru the fourth time when Gade sruck a service return long. Another Gade service return error and Permadi was knocking at the door 11-12. In the next exchange, Gade went for a round-the-head jumpsmash that landed very close to the line. The shot was called "out" though and the score was tied at 12-all.

Permadi then reached into his bag of tricks in the next rally. He delayed his shot at the net and then lifted the shuttle to the rear, catching Gade out. Permadi was now ahead 13-12.

Gade won the service back when he brushed the shuttle at the net and the ball tipped the net before falling over. He then scored to equalize at 13-all. In the next rally though, he sent a round-the-head shot into the net to surrender the serve.

Permadi played aggressively in the next rally. He uncorked a round-the-head jumpsmash to Gade's chest. The surprised Gade could only block it back to the net. Permadi was now at match point 14-13.

Gade battled back with the home crowd cheering, begging him on. Gade responded with a crosscourt jumpsmash, this time to Permadi's forehand side, to stop the Taiwanese match point. Gade then scored on his turn with a round-the-head jumpsmash, once more to Permadi's forehand side. The score was all tied at 14-all.

Tiebreak time. Three points for Gade to win the semifinal. Or so everyone thought.

The umpire asked Permadi whether he wanted to set. Permadi raised his left hand and waved it to and fro, and then closed all his fingers but one. No tiebreak for him. Do-or-die on one solitary point.

Gade then served for the match, only to make a mistake at the net to give the serve up.

It was Permadi's turn to serve for the match. He serve it low and short, perhaps a bit high. Gade reached forward with his rackethead up and dabbed at the shuttle to sent it over the net. He was a split-second too late. The shuttle had started its downward flight and Gade's strike only sent it into the net. Permadi had won. Gade and Denmark had lost.

Permadi's dramatic victory puts him into the men's singles against Sun Jun of China. Sun had earlier in the day beaten Poul-Erik Hoyer of Denmark in his semifinal matchup.

In one of the women's singles semifinals, Dai Yun of China outlasted a gritty Mette Sorensen of Denmark 11-8 and 13-12 to set up a championship matchup against Denmark's Camilla Martin, winner of an earlier semifinal over Gong Ruina.

Sorensen almost pulled out a second-set win to send the match into a decider. Dai had reached match point at 10-6 after Sorensen had mishit a killshot and Dai had managed to block it back over the surprised Dane. Sorensen though fought back and equalized at 10-all. The Dane then reeled off two points to reach game point at 12-10.

The lefthanded Dai came back and pressured Sorensen into two mistakes - one net error and an overlong lift. Those miscues put the score at 12-all.

The gritty Sorensen and the equally determined Dai fought off each other's scoring attempts three times apiece. Finally, though, Dai was able to score the match winner when she moved Sorensen around and then struck a flattish clear to Sorensen's backhand rear corner beyond the outpositioned Dane's reach.

In the men's doubles semifinals, Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yung Sung of Korea defeated Simon Archer and Nathan Robertson of England 15-11 and 15-8, and the Korean pair of Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon beat Zhang Jun and Zhang Wei of China 15-6 and 17-15.

The double Korean semifinal victories ensures that Korea will go home with two titles, the mixed doubles won earlier by Kim and partner Ra as well as the men's doubles. The Koreans also have a chance for a third title in the women's doubles with Ra Kyung Min and Chung Jae Hee playing China's Ge Fei and Gu Jun in tomorrow's final.


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