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Asia Cup: Saman Saves Malaysia Again; China Shaky

** 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 11, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - For the second straight day, the fortunes of the Malaysian side at the Asia Cup men's badminton team tourney in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam rested on the racket of Ismail Saman and for the second straight day, Saman came through with a win to clinch team victory for Malaysia.

Saman's heroics came in the second singles of the Malaysia-Taiwan contest today. The two teams were tied at 1 match apiece. Taiwan's Liu En-Horng had upended an error-prone Jason Wong in the first singles 7-15, 15-7 and 15-7, and the doubles combo of Chew Choon Eng and Rosman Razak had equalized for Malaysia with a 15-6 and 15-6 drubbing of Huang Shin-chung and Chien Yu-Hsiun.

With a probable place in the semifinal stage at stake, Saman and Chang Jeng-shyung did battle. Saman captured the first set easily 15-6. The Taiwanese player fought back in the second and gave a good account of himself but Saman was able to turn back Chang's stiff challenge. Saman won a close second game at 15-13.

In yesterday's opening team contest against Thailand, Saman also won the deciding second singles match for Malaysia after his team and Thailand had swapped victories in the first singles and the men's doubles matches.

The Malaysian team is now certain of a semifinal place, representing Group B and plays Indonesia tomorrow for the right to play the second-place team from Group A. Indonesia beat Thailand today 3 matches to none to bag the other semifinal berth from Group B.

In Group A action, the Chinese side had a shaky performance against India with all of the Chinese players taken to three sets in all of their matches today.

World men's singles champion Sun Jun took three sets to defeat the lowly Abhinn Shyam Gupta 15-8, 6-15 and 15-5 in the first singles. In the men's doubles match, Yu Jinhao and Zhang Jun toyed with disaster against Jaseel Ismail and Markose but scraped past the Indian pair 15-11, 6-15 and 15-13. In the second singles, Chen Hong got by a scrappy Ajit Wijetilek 15-5, 10-15 and 15-12.

Korea easily won their team contest against host Vietnam 3 matches to none. Both China and Korea have clinched semifinal berths representing Group A and the two teams will face each other tomorrow for top gun status in their group.

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

Group A

China beat India 3-0 (Sun Jun beat Abhinn Shyam Gupta 15-8, 6-15, 15-5; Yu Jinhao and Zhang Jun beat Jaseel Ismail and Markose 15-11, 6-15, 15-13; Chen Hong beat Ajit Wijetilek 15-5, 10-15, 15-12)

Korea beat Vietnam 3-0 (Park Tae Sang beat Nguyen Phu Cuong 15-6, 15-3; Ahn Jae Chang beat Ho Van Loi 15-1, 15-7; Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon beat Nguyen Phu Cuong and Tran Due Sang 15-7, 15-7)

Group B

Malaysia beat Taiwan 2-1 (Jason Wong lost to Liu En-horng 7-15, 15-7, 15-7; Chew Choon Eng and Rosman Razak beat Huang Shin-chung and Chien Yu-hsiun 15-6, 15-6; Ismail Saman beat Chang Jeng-shyong 15-6, 15-13)

Indonesia beat Thailand 3-0 (Taufik Hidayat beat Boonsak Polsana 15-6, 17-14; Chandra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan beat Pramote Teerawiwatana and Tesana Panvisavas 15-11, 15-4; Hendrawan beat Anupap Thiraratsakul 15-12, 15-11)


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