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Olympic Test Event: World Champions Sparkle In Olympic Dryrun
** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by
YANG YANG Badminton Products and
their Ontario (Canada) agents -
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September 6, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Kim Dong Moon, Ha Tae Kwon and Ra
Kyung Min of Korea, all current world champions, provided top-caliber
performances at the Australian International - Olympic Test Event badminton
championships at the Olympic Park in Sydney this past week. Kim who shares
the world men's doubles title with Ha Tae Kwon and the world mixed doubles
title with Ra Kyung Min swept thru the men's doubles competition with
temporary partner Yoo Yung Sung while Ra dominated the women's doubles event
with partner Lee Hyo Jung.
Because the Australian International was not part of the World Grand Prix
circuit and did not offer the competitors sufficient world ranking points even
if they won a title, top players like Koreans Kim, Ha and Ra and Englishmen
Simon Archer and Chris Hunt did not play with their normal partners so that
they would not affect their competitive standing and Olympic qualifying
points. Kim usually competes with Ha and Ra with Chung Jae Hee. Archer's usual
mixed doubles partner is Joanne Goode; at this tournament, he partnered Donna
Kellogg who usually teams up with Chris Hunt.
Players of the caliber of Kim, Ha, Ra and Archer do not usually compete in
events like the Australian International, but because the tournament offered
a chance to test out the badminton hall for the 2000 Olympic Games, several
world-class competitors made the long trip to Sydney.
In yesterday's men's doubles final, Kim and Yoo faced off against Ha and Lee
Dong Soo in an 82-minute contest that thrilled the spectators with booming
jumpsmashes, lightning-fast drives and equally quick defensive reflexes. Kim
and Yoo came out on top 14-17, 15-9 and 15-12.
In the women's doubles championship contest also played yesterday, Ra and Lee
battled Chung and Yim Kyung Jin over three sets that featured many fast and
furious rallies. Ra and Lee prevailed over Chung and Yim 17-16, 6-15 and 15-3.
In the men's singles final, Indonesian-born Rio Suryana of Australia delighted
the home crowd when he overcame some early difficulties to overwhelm Abhinni
Shyam Gupta of India with strong and pinpoint smashing as well as tight net
shots. Suryana won the match 15-6 and 15-6.
The 22-year old Suryana who moved to Australia from Indonesia three years ago
has moved to the top of Australia's badminton rankings and hopes to represent
his adopted country in the 2000 Olympic Games, if he can obtain Australian
citizenship by then. Suryana has had some success in the Indonesian regional
tournament circuit but never moved up to the national team. He has one World
Grand Prix tournament title to his name - the 1999 Polish Open.
In the women's singles final, Sandra Dimbour of France upset the heavily
favoured but error-prone Brenda Beenhakker of Netherland 11-3 and 11-5.
Michael Keck of Germany and Erica Van Den Heuvel of Netherland won the mixed
doubles title. In an error-filled final, they defeated an even more erratic
English combination of Chris Hunt and Gail Emms 15-9 and 15-10.
Aside from the Koreans, the badminton hall where the 2000 Olympic Games
badminton medals will be contested was another sparkler at the tournament. The
competitors at the Olympic dryrun found much to like and nothing serious to
complain about except the over-bright lighting.
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