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Asian Championships: Chen Hong, Zhang Ning Surprise Top Seeds

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

September 18, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Chinese player Chen Hong surprised Fung Permadi of Taiwan, the men's singles top pick, and Zhang Ning, also from China, upended teammate Dai Yun, the number one women's singles seed, in the semifinal stage today of the Asian Badminton Confederation championships in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The youthful Chen outsmashed and and outquicked the veteran Permadi to win in three sets 15-8, 9-15 and 15-7, while Zhang put out Dai 9-11, 11-3 and 11-4.

Chen is an up-and-comer in the Chinese squad. He won the Swedish Open title this year and he is regarded by the Chinese coaching staff as a likely successor to Sun Jun, the current world champion from China.

In tomorrow's men's singles final, Chen will face Malaysian Ong Ewe Hock who defeated Indonesian player Marleve Mainaky 15-3, 5-15 and 15-7.

Ong used tight net shots and smashes to easily win the first game. Mainaky came back strong in the second and, with the drift playing havoc with Ong's shots, the Indonesian smashed his way to force a deciding third set.

Ong took advantage of the drift at the start of the decider and raced to an 8-3 before the change of ends. Mainaky then had the wind on his side and he was able to narrow the gap at 6-8. However, he was not able to sustain his momentum. He made several key mistakes, specially at the net, allowing Ong to outscore him 7-1 in the closing stages of the match.

In the other women's singles semifinal, second seed Ye Zhaoying of China overwhelmed teammate Gong Zhichao 11-2 and 11-4.

In men's doubles, world champions Kim Dong Moon and Ha Tae Kwon of Korea beat Pramote Teerawiwatana and Tesana Panvisavas of Thailand 15-11 and 15-7 to move into the finals. Zhang Jun and Zhang Wei of China took the other men's doubles final berth when they defeated the comebacking Malaysians Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock.

The unrelated Zhangs had control of the first game early and led 9-3. Cheah and Yap came back to tie the score at 12-all, but the Chinese pair stopped the Malaysian run and moved ahead to game point 14-12.

Cheah and Yap were able to force a tiebreak at 14-all and gained game point for themselves at 16-15. However, Zhang and Zhang foiled the Malaysians and then scored to win the set 17-16.

The Chinese duo dominated the second game and won easily 15-8.

Women's doubles world champions Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China headed into a rerun of the world championships final with silver medalists Ra Kyung Min and Chung Jae Hee of Korea when the world titleholders defeated Etty Tantri and Cynthia Tuwankotta of Indonesia 15-7 and 15-6 and the Korean pair beat Saralee Thungtongkam and Sujitra Ekmongkolpaisarn of Thailand 15-1 and 15-8 in today's semifinals.

In the mixed doubles semifinals, current world champions Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min edged out Tri Kusheryanto and Resiana Zelin of Indonesia 13-15, 15-11 and 15-6. Liu Yong and Ge Fei of China, the 1997 world titleists, beat Indonesians Bambang Suprianto and Minarti Timur 15-2 and 15-5.


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