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Miscellaneous: Year 2000 Thomas and Uber Cups Set For Malaysia

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

June 4, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - At a meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark last May 23rd, the International Badminton Federation accepted Malaysia's application to host the millenium Thomas and Uber Cups Finals. The competition will be staged in late May next year in Kuala Lumpur.

The badminton federation also designated New Delhi, India as the host city for the Year 2000 Thomas and Uber Cups Asian qualifier and Sofia, Bulgaria as the host of the European qualifying tournament. The New Delhi and Sofia competitions will be held in late February. (Editor's Note - There are no African, Oceania or PanAmerican qualifying tournaments. Countries from these regions may compete in either the Asian or European qualifiers).

At the same meeting, the federation awarded the right to host the 2001 World Mixed Team Championships (the Sudirman Cup) and the World Individual Championships to Seville, Spain. The Sudirman Cup will be contested starting on May 27, 2001 with the individual championships starting a week later.

Eindhoven, Netherlands and Seoul, Korea were the other cities who vied for the right to host the world championships.

In a related development, England is bidding to stage the 1999 World Grand Prix Finals, the sport's yearly tournament of champions, slated for mid-December. This competition has been hosted by an Asian country for all of the sixteen times it has been held. It was last played in Brunei this past February.

TOP DANE RETIRES - Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen, one of Denmark's top men's singles players, has retired from international competition. Stuer had won an Olympic bronze medal in 1992 but was dogged by injuries, two of which occurred while he was playing in a key tournament match. In the 1995 world championships, he was well on his way to victory in the men's singles semifinals when he landed awkwardly and broke an ankle. A year earlier, he injured his knee during the final of the World Cup.

Stuer was injured for most of 1998 and made a concerted effort this year to qualify for the world championships in his home country. He made the final of the Korean Open where he lost to Fung Permadi of Taiwan. That victory, though, earned him an almost certain berth in the world tourney.

At the world championships, Stuer played his way to the quarterfinals where he faced and lost to eventual world titleholder Sun Jun of China, 5-15 and 13-15. Stuer formally announced his retirement after that match and was honored by the Danish badminton association on the semifinal night of the world tourney with a presentation of several retirement gifts.

According to Stuer, he had decided in February to make the world championships his last international competition but had not made it public. He had chosen to leave the tournament circuit because of his nagging injuries and the increasingly longer amount of time that it was taking for him to recover.

GADE GETS PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD - Peter Gade-Christiansen of Denmark was awarded the Eddy Choong trophy as badminton's player of the year for 1998 on finals night of the world championships in Denmark. The Danish player had held the world number one ranking in men's singles for most of 1998, had won 4 of the 7 major international tournaments he had entered and was in the final or semifinals of the other 3.

The player of the year award is named after Datuk Eddy Choong, the great Malaysian player of the late 1940's and early 1950's. Among Datuk Choong's many titles are 7 prestigious All-England championships, 4 in men's singles and 3 in men's doubles. In the 1940's and 1950's, there were no world championship tournaments and an All-England title was considered to be the world championship.

The award to Gade though was but a small consolation to the world number one who had been upended in the world championships semifinals by Fung Permadi of Taiwan and who disappointedly had to settle for a bronze medal.


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