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Pan-American Games: Canadians Bounce Singles Top Seeds

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

July 26, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Christian Erichsen of Guatemala, the top seed in the badminton men's singles event at the 1999 Pan-American Games currently being staged in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada as well as Adrienn Kocsis of Peru, the women's singles top pick, were both bounced from medal contention today in quarterfinal action by players from the host country. Stuart Arthur trounced Erichsen 15-2 and 15-1, while veteran Denyse Julien humbled Kocsis 11-1 and 11-1.

In Arthur's match with Erichsen, the Canadian was in command, except for a few brief moments when the top seed from Guatemala held a 2-0 advantage early in the first game. For most of the match after that, Arthur covered the court like a blanket, sending Erichsen's shots back with a mix of power and touch and frustrating the top seed. The Canadian scored often with snap off-tempo rally-ending smashes that surprised Erichsen or with well-disguised overhead crosscourt slice dropshots that the Guatemalan was slow in reading or with delayed flicks from the net that wrongfooted the top seed.

In the Julien-Kocsis contest, the veteran Canadian dominated play with her great variety of shots. The Peruvian had problems troughout the match with her stroke and made many errors as Julien put her under pressure with shots to the four corners as well as with well-timed smashes and drives.

Another Canadian, Andrew Dabeka, did his best to put the men's singles second seed, Kevin Han of the U.S.A., out of the competition in another quarterfinal match this afternoon, but failed. Han, a lefthander, opened up with a quick 5-1 lead on fellow southpaw Dabeka in the first game but then gave up the lead as he made mistake after mistake. The Canadian seized the advantage at 8-7 and led 10-8 before Han cut down on his mistakes.

Han regained the lead at 11-10 with a halfcourt jumpsmash winner. He built his advantage up to 12-10 and then to 13-10, scoring with a quick-reflexed blink-of-the-eye drive block that surprised the Canadian. Han reached game point 14-10 and then took the set 15-10 when Dabeka returned his low serve to the net.

In the second game, Han again raced to an early lead 7-2. Once again, Dabeka came back to close in at 10-9. Han was able to stop the Canadian's string and pulled away again to a 13-9 advantage. He then reached match point when Dabeka struck a push shot too hard and sent the shuttle out-of-bounds.

The Canadian though did not give up. He saved one match point when he ended a rally with a smash to Han's body. Han regained the serve with a well-placed dropshot. Dabeka again saved match point. Then Han regained the serve but failed to score when he sent his high service out-of-bounds. In the next rally, Dabeka's dropshot attempt hit the net and Han once again had match point. Once again, Dabeka survived when Han drove the shuttle long.

On his service turn, Dabeka finally scored when Han's net spinner went into the twine. The Canadian scored again on a crosscourt netshot and then again on a fast head-high drive shot to Han to bring him closer at 12-14.

In the next rally,Han was able to stop Dabeka's comeback fight with a crosscourt dropshot that the Canadian could not reach in time. Han had match point for the fifth time. In the brief exchange after Han's serve, the American delayed his shot at the net and then flicked the shuttle towards the Canadian's backhand corner. Dabeka was fooled momentarily then scrambled to stroke the shuttle back. His desperate reply was too loose and short. Han was waiting near the net and he hammered the shuttle to the floor for the match winner.

In the other men's singles quarterfinal matches, Mario Carulla Schultz of Peru breezed past an overmatched Guilherme Pardo of Brazil 15-2 and 15-1, while fourth seed Pedro Yang Ruiz of Guatemala came back from a first game setback to beat the deliberate and finesse play of Bernardo Monreal of Mexico 9-15, 15-8 and 15-5.

In the other women's singles quarterfinals, second seed Kara Solmundson of Canada beat back the late charge of Peruvian Lorena Blanco to win 11-4 and 11-8, Yeping Tang of the U.S.A. trounced fourth-seeded Nigella Saunders of Jamaica 11-1 and 11-3, and Charmaine Reid of Canada put out third-seeded Ximena Bellido of Peru 11-4 and 11-3.

In the women's doubles quarterfinals, top seeds Milaine Cloutier and Robbyn Hermitage of Canada whipped Fernanda Kumasaka and Cristina Nakano of Brazil 15-2 and 15-1, second seeds Denyse Julien and Charmaine Reid of Canada put out Shackerah Cupidon and Nigella Saunders of Jamaica 15-5 and 15-8, Adrienn Kocsis and Doriana Rivera of Peru beat the improving Cuban combination of Edith Loza Capote and Yesenia Leon Ruiz of Cuba 15-12 and 15-7, and the U.S.A. pairing of Kathy Zimmerman and Stefanie Westermann defeated Gabriella Melgosa and Veronica Estrada of Mexico 15-8 and 15-0.

In the men's doubles quarterfinals, top seeds Howard Bach and Mark Manha of the U.S.A. defeated Guilherme Kumasaka and Leandro Santos of Brazil 15-7 and 15-6, while Canadian champions Iain Sydie and Brent Olynyk trounced Roy Paul and Robert Richards of Jamaica 15-2 and 15-6.

Second seeds Guilherme Pardo and Ricardo Trevelin of Brazil were beaten by Bernardo Monreal and Luis Lopezllero of Mexico in a three-set thriller 7-15, 17-14 and 15-12. The Brazilians seemed like they had the match won after they had easily taken the first and had fought back in the second to have a match point. The Brazilians though made too many mistakes at the net and the Mexicans were able to force a tiebreak at 14-all and then win the second at 17-14.

In the decider, the Brazilians again seemed on their way to victory. They raced to an 8-2 advantage. However, they were unable to hold the advantage as the Mexicans came back after the change of ends to tie at 11-all. Monreal and Lopezllero then took the lead 12-11 and 13-12 as the Brazilians once again crumbled under the weight of their errors and misplays. The Mexicans gained match point at 14-12 on a Brazilian jumpsmash that found the net and then won a place in the semifinals and a certain bronze medal when once again the frantic Brazilians sent a jumpsmash into the net.

Canadians Mike Beres and Bryan Moody won the other men's doubles quarterfinal. They survived some anxious moments in the early going when Mario Carulla Schultz and Jose Iturriaga of Peru outplayed them for a 3-0 lead in the first set and then played them almost to standstill at 12-all. At this juncture, Beres put his side over the top with a series of excellent low serves, the last of which Iturriaga returned into the net for the game winner at 15-12.

Beres and Moody took the early lead in the second set at 3-0 but the Peruvians again played tough and stayed close to the Canadians at 9-all. Beres and Moody then pulled away and reached match point at 14-10 when Moody followed his own jumpsmash in and struck a netshot winner.

A Moody mistake gave the service back to the Peruvians. After the Canadians had stopped the Peruvian first serve, Iturriaga scored on a crosscourt soft block into an open space as Beres had moved across to cover the straight block.

Iturriaga then surrendered the serve when he jumpsmashed the shuttle into the net. The Canadians once again were serving for the match. The Peruvians foiled the first serve with a halfcourt smash to Beres. On the Canadians' second serve, Carulla hit a crosscourt drive wide to hand Beres and Moody the victory at 15-11.


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