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Pan-American Games: Three Gold Medals For Canada, Two For Team U.S.A.=

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

July 28, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - At the thirteenth Pan-American Games being played in Winnipeg, Manitoba, players from host country Canada won three gold medals in badminton this afternoon and competitors from the Unite= d States of America captured two. The Canadians were led by double gold medal winner Iain Sydie who took top honors in men's doubles with partner Brent Olynyk and in mixed doubles with Denyse Julien. Canada's other gold medal was won by Milaine Cloutier and Robbyn Hermitage in the women's doubles.

Sydie and Olynyk defeated Americans Howard Bach and Mark Manha in today's men's doubles final 15-17, 15-8 and 15-6. In the mixed doubles gold medal contest, Sydie and Julien beat fellow Canadians Brent Olynyk and Robbyn Hermitage 15-9 and 15-6, while in the women's doubles championship match, Hermitage and Cloutier bested another Canadian pair, Denyse Julien and Charmaine Reid, 4-15, 15-2 and 15-10.

The American triumphs came in the two singles events. In the women's sing= les final, Yeping Tang turned back Canada's Charmaine Reid 11-7, 11-13 and 11-3, while in the men's singles gold medal match, Han turned back the surprising young Canadian, Stuart Arthur, 15-9, 7-15 and 15-4.

In the Tang-Reid women's singles final, the American scored the first two points in the opening game on errors by Reid. Tang maintained a small lead until 7-3 when Reid mounted a fightback and climbed to a 7-all tie. Tang forced Reid into a crosscourt lift mistake to edge ahead 8-7. Tang scored again to lead 9-7 and then gained set point when she turned back Reid's attack, forced the Canadian into a hurried flat clear and then hammered a scoring smash. Tang then scored the set winner when Reid struck a drive long.

In the second game, Tang raced to a 5-0 advantage with some angled offspe= ed sliced smashes to either side of Reid. The Canadian came back to tie at 5-al= l mainly on Tang mistakes. Reid then took a short-lived 7-5 lead. Tang quickly caught up at 7-7 and then went ahead 9-8 when Reid's block of her smash sail= ed wide. Tang reached match point 10-8 when she followed up an angled offspeed smash to the Canadia's forehand side with another angled smash to the other side.

Reid scrambled to save the match point with good defending unti Tang sent a dropshot into the net. She then pressured Tang into two errors and forced a tiebreak or setting. Reid went ahead 11-10 with an angled halfsmash and, after swapping scoreless service turns, got to game point 12-10 when she pressured Tang into an errant round-the-head clear. After several more scoreless service turns, Tang scored when Reid struck a smash into the net.<= br>

Reid pressured Tang in the next rally and maneuvered Tang into a rushed drive that went into the net. Tang then ended Reid's service turn with a kill of the Canadian's loose net shot reply to her crosscourt net shot. Reid countered on Tang's serve with an unreturnable net spinner and regained the serve.

On her next attempt to end the game and send the match into a deciding th= ird game, Reid got Tang into an all-court rally and was rewarded when the Americ= an sent a round-the-head dropshot into the net.

In the decider, Reid took an early 3-1 lead but Tang quickly overtook the Canadian and raced to an 9-3 advantage on some Reid mistakes and some fine shotmaking of her own. The American reached match point again with a decepti= ve delayed crosscourt half-drive that wrongfooted Reid.

Reid saved match point when she forced Tang into a weak backhand clear wh= ich she then pounded with a smash. The Canadian though could not score on her service turn and Tang had gold medal point again. On Tang's service turn, she played a tight net shot that Reid attempted to reply to with a lift. The American's net spinner was too good though. Reid's lift reply was way too short and Tang softly tapped it down for the gold medal winning point.

In the men's doubles final, the Americans Bach and Manha scrambled and sm= ashed as they matched the Canadians Olynyk and Sydie point for point in a very clo= se first game. Late in the set, the Canadians pulled ahead 13-10 but Bach's kil= l shot of Sydie's crosscourt drive, an errant Sydie crosscourt driveblock and a Manha smash got the Americans back into a tie. Bach then put the USA pair at game point when he killed a slow dropshot service return from Olynyk. The Canadians fought back and scored to force a tiebreak at 14-all.

After swapping scoreless service turns, Manha scored when his block knuck= led past Sydie's racket. The two pairs again swapped several scoreless service turns before the Canadians scored to even the score at 15-all. After another series of scoreless exchanges, Bach finally broke through and scored with a jumping smashshot between the two Canadians. The Canadians got the service back but could not score.

Bach then served a netskimmer to Sydie and the tall Canadian sent the shu= ttle into the net to hand the first game to the American pair.

In the second game, the Canadians adjusted their play. They flickserved m= ore and also channeled most of the shots to Manha. On defense, they sent the shuttle up and back to the rear court, constantly changing patterns from crosscourt blocks to straight blocks. Sydie's powerful smashing as well as Olynyk's jumping powershot combinations also began to get past the American defenses.

The Canadian tactics seemed to tire the Americans out and they were able = to race from a 5-all tie to an 11-5 advantage. Sydie and Olynyk then went on to win the set 15-8 with the last point coming on an American lift that sailed long.

In the decider,the Canadians zoomed to a 10-0 lead as Bach and Manha made several errors and the Canadians outquicked them in the rallies. Bach and Manha tried to stage a fightback and scored several times on Canadian mistak= es and also some power shots from Bach.

The Canadian lead was too large though. The Americans tried to press the attack but the Canadian defense was too good. They pressured Bach to drive the shuttle into the net to put them ahead 12-6. The American's went on the attack again in the next rally, but Sydie was able to block Manha's smash crosscourt into an open space to increase the Canadian lead to 13-6.

Olynyk then served low and tight to the net. Bach let the shuttle land, thinking the serve was short. The line judge though called it in and the Canadians were at gold medal point.

The Americans stopped the Canadian serve, first on Manha's drive return a= nd then on a jumping clip dropshot that the Canadians failed to reach. Bach and Manha could not score on their turn and the Canadians once again had match point.

Manha foiled the first serve with another drive return which Sydie could only drive back to the net. On the Canadians' second serve, they struck a push shot to the backhand rear court. Bach tried to reply with a rushed off-form backhand dropshot but his attempt only sent the shuttle into the net. Finally the Canadian pair owned the Pan-American men's doubles gold medal.

In the Han-Arthur men's singles final, the two started out tentatively, exhanging scoreless service turns. Arthur opened the scoring when Han sent a smash wide. A scoring smash from Han then put the American on the scoreboard. The two played a close game with Arthur keeping pace with Han until 8-all. The American edged ahead 9-8 and then began to pull away to a 13-8 on an Arthur mistake, then a Han round-the-head smash, a straight jumpsmash and a dropshot-then-netshot combination.

The Canadian broke in with a score when Han replied to an Arthur netshot with an errant netshot. Han though was too strong. He reached game point 14-= 9 with an setup offspeed smash to Arthur's forehand side followed by a scoring smash to the Canadian's body. Arthur stopped Han's serve with a booming smas= h of his own but was unable to score on his turn. The two swapped scoreless service turns. On Han's next turn, Arthur went on the attack. Han defended well and was able to send the shuttle softly over the net, forcing Arthur into a lift that sailed long.

In the second game, the two again kept pace with each other but several close line calls seemed to throw Han off his game. Arthur was able to move ahead from a 5-all tie to a commanding 11-5 lead. The Canadian reached game point when he was able to turn Han's attack and then stroked a deceptive jumpsmash to lefthanded Han's forehand side while the American was moving across to cover his backhand. Another Arthur smash and the Canadian had take= n the second game 15-7.

In the decider, Han moved ahead early with his net shots spinning tight t= o the net and his jumpsmashes speeding to the floor. Arthur on the other hand began to make mistakes with shots going out-of-bounds or into the net. Han raced to an 13-4 lead with the thirteenth point coming on an Arthur netshot mistake. The Canadian stopped Han's serve with a jumpsmash but then surrendered the serve when he lifted Han's netshot return of serve long. On Han's service turn, Arthur stroked a driveshot out-of-bounds to give the American gold medal point.

Han did not waste the chance. He served the shuttle low and Arthur replie= d with a crosscourt lift. The lift was a bit low and the American reached around his head with his racket and almost reflexively struck the shuttle crosscourt while Arthur was scrambling to cover the straight reply. Han had struck the gold medal winner and he was now the Pan-American Games men's singles champion.


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