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World Championships: Sun Jun, Camilla Tops In The World

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

May 23, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Sun Jun of China and Camilla Martin of Denmark sit on top of the badminton world after they won the singles titles at the world individual championships in Brondby, Denmark today. Sun Jun beat Fung Permadi of Taiwan in the men's singles championship match 15-6 and 15-13, while Martin defeated Dai Yun of China in the women's singles final 11-6, 6-11 and 11-10.

China's Ge Fei and Gu Jun took the women's doubles crown for the second time in a row. Ge and Gu demonstrated their four-year old supremacy over all other women's doubles pairs as they overwhelmed Ra Kyung Min and Chung Jae Hee of Korea 15-4 and 15-5 in this afternoon's title contest with their combination of powerful smashing from Gu Jun, unequalled net play from Ge Fei, and superb defending from both.

Korea's Kim Dong Moon added the men's doubles title to the mixed doubles championship he won yesterday. Kim and partner Ha Tae Kwon defeated fellow Koreans Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yung Sung 15-5 and 15-5 in the finale of the tournament.

Sun Jun's victory erased the Chinese player's painful memories of the 1997 championship match when he suffered severe cramping of his leg muscles and was not able to sustain an early advantage over Peter Rasmussen of Denmark, the eventual world champion.

In his matchup today against Permadi, Sun took a carefully played first game, setting up pointscoring chances with clears, drops and netshots combined with incredible floor-scraping defense and powering the occasional jumpsmash when the right opening presented itself.

In the second, Sun seemed to be on his way to an easy championship victory when he raced to a 5-0 lead, but Permadi played his way back into the match on several Sun mistakes as well as carefully crafted rallies of his own. The Taiwanese player equalized at 5-all and then pulled ahead to a 13-9 lead as Sun began to slow down and make more mistakes.

Sun though may only have been husbanding his energy resources to avoid a repeat of the 1997 final. He took advantage of the frequent need to clean the floor of slippery areas from dripping sweat to take rest and take in fluids, despite being booed by the crowd for timewasting.

Behind at 9-13, Sun began his comeback. He jumpsmashed to Permadi's forehand side to take the service and then scored when he ended a careful rally with a clipped drive. He added another point with a rally-ending jumpsmash to the Taiwanese player's forehand side.

After swapping service turns, Sun set up Permadi with an all-court rally and then smashed to score his twelfth point. Permadi took the serve back with a clipped smash following a series of all-court shots to unbalance Sun. Sun though countered with another all-court rally punctuated by a jumpsmash winner at Permadi.

Sun then served to try to tie up the match. Permadi struck a crosscourt jumpsmash but Sun was there to softly block the shuttle back. The Taiwan player rushed to return the block but pushed the featherball into the net and allowed Sun to tie up the game at 13-all.

In the next rally, Sun hit a smash that looked certain to be a winner. Permadi miraculously blocked it back softly but Sun was onto the block in a flash and hit a half-powered kill for the score. Sun had reached world championship point.

Sun then served for the world title. Permadi replied with a smash. Sun once again softly swept the shuttle over the net. Permadi responded with a net shot. Sun countered with a lift. Permadi raced back and struck a smash. Sun was there again with a soft block over the net and close to Permadi's forehand sideline. Permadi let the shuttle land or perhaps was a bit too late or off-balance to reply.

For the barest of a split second, the badminton world stood still. Everyone in the stands looked at the line judge. Then Sun jumped for joy. His block had landed on the line. The line judge's hand had gone forward to signal "in".

Sun then fell to the floor on his back, squirming in delight. He had won the set 15-13 and, with the set, had become the 1999 world men's singles champion.

In the women's singles final, Camilla Martin's first game 11-6 win was made easier by Dai's many mistakes, often with a shuttle struck long. At the change of ends, though, Dai began to find the lines and started to keep her shots the right length. Her crosscourt slices also began to elude Martin's reach and the Chinese player took the second 11-6.

In the decider, Martin raced to a 5-0 and 6-2 advantage as Dai once again had a mistake-filled stay on what for her was the bad end of the court. At the change of ends at the mid-point of the third set, Martin still was in command and built a 9-3 lead. After swapping service turns, Martin scored on a soft putaway of a loose net shot from Dai to get to championship point 10-3.

The Danish crowd erupted with glee and most everyone in the arena stood up to watch the final rally.

Dai though was not done yet. She rallied and pressured Martin into a slice drop into the net to save championship point. She then began a comeback, scoring 3 points to get to within 4 of Martin. The Dane got the service back but Dai once again saved championship point, this time with a smash reply to Martin's shortish lift.

Dai then 2 more times to get closer at 8-10. Once again, the Dane got the service back. Once again, the Danish crowd stood to watch her victory rally. And once again, she could not convert, striking a clip drop to the net.

Dai scored once more on Martin's netshot mistake. In the next rally, Dai went on a controlled attack. Martin sent one reply just over the net and Dai backhanded a half-drive that landed in. The score was tied at 10-all.

Martin then made a bold move. She chose to play for one point instead of a three-point setting.

Dai then served for the championship. Martin sent the shuttle up to the rear court and Dai hit a dropshot. Martin swept the shuttle back up. Dai hit a dropshot again. Martin again sent the shuttle back. Another drop and this time Martin sent the shuttle just over the net, forcing Dai to lift. Martin then hit a drop shot of her own and her shot found the floor.

It was the Dane's turn to serve for the title. Dai cleared and Martin cleared back. Dai then hit a dropshot. Martin lifted in reply. Dai then smashed but the Dane softly blocked the shuttle back. Dai dashed in and pushed the ball crosscourt - the same type of shot that had been successful for her before. Martin though to the corner and swiped the shuttle up and back with a forehand stroke. Dai replied with a crosscourt clear. Martin countered with a dropshot which Dai returned with a net spinner. The Dane flicked the shuttle crosscourt to the lefthanded Dai's forehand rear corner. The Chinese player cleared and Martin cleared back. Dai then struck a crosscourt dropshot, but Martin got there nad replied with a net spinner. Dai rushed in and reached out to spin the shuttle back. However, she did not have enough of the shuttle to send it over and she spun the shuttle into the net.

Martin had won. She was now a world champion. Denmark had a 1999 world title.


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