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Asia Cup: Wong's Squeaker Gets Malaysia Past Thailand

** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and their Western Canada agents - MAAKL Corporation, Saint Albert, Alberta (Tel 780-458-2026/ Fax 780-459-8891) **

November 10, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Jason Wong of Malaysia won a tight first singles match against the improving young Thai player Boonsak Polsana to help get a Malaysian team of second-stringers past Thailand at the Asia Cup men's team badminton championships in Ho Chi Minh City in the southern part of Vietnam. Wong dropped the first set to Polsana 5-15 but toughed it out in the next two games to squeeze by the Thai player 15-10 and 15-13.

Wong's squeaker of a victory proved important for the Malaysian side, because Thailand's strong doubles combination of Pramote Teerawiwatana and Tesana Panvisvas beat Chew Choon Eng and Rosman Razak in the second match 15-6, 6-15 and 15-11 to knot up the team contest at 1 match apiece.

In the second singles match, Ismail Saman whipped Anupap Thiraratsakul 15-6 and 15-6 to clinch the team victory for Malaysia.

The Asia Cup, which started today and which ends on Sunday, is a men's team competition featuring entries from 8 of the top Asian badminton nations - defending champion Indonesia, host Vietnam, China, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Taiwan. These eight teams are split into two groups of four. In the first stage of the competition, the teams in each group play each other in a round-robin. The top two teams in each group then move into the crossover semifinals with the victors going into Sunday's championship contest and the losers going into a bronze medal playoff.

The Asia Cup champion team will receive a 50,000 US dollar purse put up by tournament sponsor JVC, while the silver medalists will get 25,000 US dollars. The bronze medalists will earn 15,000 US dollars and the fourth-place team 10,000 US dollars.

The teams from China, Korea, India and Vietnam are pooled together in Group A with China and Korea seeded one and two. The Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai and Taiwanese teams comprise Group B with Indonesia and Malaysia being the first and second picks.

Each team contest at the Asia Cup consists of two men's singles matches and a men's doubles match. The doubles contest is usually sandwiched between the singles matches.

Several of the top male badminton players in the world are at the Asia Cup - world men's singles champion Sun Jun from China, world men's doubles champions Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon from Korea, All-England men's doubles titleists Chandra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan from Indonesia, South East Asian Games men's singles champion Taufik Hidayat from Indonesia, and South East Asian Games men's doubles champions Pramote Teerawiwatana and Tesana Panvisvas from Thailand.

The following are the results of the team contests that took place today (names of winning team's players first):

Group A

Korea beat India 3-0 (Ahn Jae Chang beat Abhinn Shyam Gupta 15-6, 15-7; Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon beat Jaseel Ismail and Markose 15-8, 15-1; Park Tae Sang beat Ajit Wijetilek 9-15, 15-4, 15-5)

China beat Vietnam 3-0 (Sun Jun beat Ho Van Loi 15-3, 15-3; Chen Hong beat Nguyen Phu Cuong 15-10, 15-2; Yu Jinhao and Zhang Jun beat Ho Van Loi and Nguyen Anh Hoang 15-8, 15-7)

Group B

Malaysia beat Thailand 2-1 (Jason Wong beat Boonsak Polsana 5-15, 15-10, 15-13; Chew Choon Eng and Rosman Razak lost to Pramote Teerawiwatana and Tesana Panvisvas 6-15, 15-6, 11-15; Ismail Saman beat Anupap Thiraratsakul 15-6, 15-6)

Indonesia beat Taiwan 3-0 (Taufik Hidayat beat Liu En-horng 15-10, 15-2; Chandra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan beat Huang Shin-chung and Chien Yu-hsiun 15-6, 15-4; Hendrawan beat Chang Jeng-shyung 15-3, 15-11)


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