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Malaysian Open: Random Notes

** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and their Ontario (Canada) agents - SHAH Enterprises **

July 4, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The Malaysian Open badminton championships received so many entries this year that the organizers requested the International Badminton Federation for permission to expand the draws for the women's singles and the doubles events. Organizers attributed the rise in the number of entries to the desire of many badminton athletes to qualify for one of the 172 places in the 2000 Olympic Games badminton competition.


Many of the visiting athletes and team managers were unhappy with the size of the expanded draws because of the way the points are allocated in the world and Olympic qualifying system. A first round loser in a draw of 64 in a five-star tournament such as the Malaysian Open would earn only 48 points, while a first round loser in a draw of 32 in a five-star competition would gain 120 points. Results of qualifying rounds are not included in the ranking calculations.

The players and team managers complained that the sizes of the draws did not follow the tournament announcement and they asked for a redraw that would be in line with the officially announced draw sizes. After much discussion in a team managers meeting with the organizers and tournament officials, the tournament referee agreed to the redraw and the organizers had to hastily arrange qualifying rounds in the women's singles and mixed doubles.

According to some players, they would rather lose in qualifying where the result would not count in the ranking rather than in a round-of-64 where the low number of points would be included in the calculation.


Malaysian doubles star Cheah Soon Kit seems to have the fates lined up against him. First, his new partner Lee Chee Leong suffers a training injury the week before the Malaysian Open. Then the Badminton Association of Malaysia gets him to reluctantly agree to partner Jeremy Gan in the tournament and the pair gets seeded eighth.

Guess what happens next? Gan falls sick with an intestinal disorder on the first day of the Open and the Cheah-Gan pairing has to pull out.


Speaking of Cheah, it seems that the doubles ace is also an aspiring artist. The Malaysian press reports that Cheah does Chinese-style painting primarily as a hobby, and has had 4 of his paintings purchased at a charity auction in Sabah (one of the states that make up Malaysia) for about 4,000 ringgits (approximately 1,050 US dollars).


The Peter Gade-Camilla Martin romance is going strong. The two world number ones - Gade in men's singles and Martin in women's singles - have been an item for about a year and were spotted souvenir shopping together in Shah Alam. Martin was also photographed giving Gade a good-luck kiss on the cheek.


Sun Jun of China, the reigning world men's singles champion, may not have been trying too hard in his quarterfinal loss to teammate Luo Yigang. According to a source close to the Chinese squad, the Chinese are trying to raise Luo's world ranking from number 50 into the top 16 so that China can qualify the maximum of 3 men's singles entries for the Sydney Olympics.

Among the Chinese men's singles players trying to qualify are Sun Jun, Dong Jiong, Chen Gang, Chen Hong and Luo Yigang.


Posted With The Permission Of The Copyright Holder.