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China Open: Chinese New Guard Reach For The Top

** 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 20, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - China's new women's singles aces showed yesterday that they were ready to lay claim to the top of the world rankings when two of the new guard beat their senior teammates in the semifinals of the five-star China Open in Beijing. World junior champion Gong Ruina put out twice-world champion Ye Zhaoying, while Zhou Mi eliminated Gong Zhichao, the former Chinese number two and the heroine in China's victory at the Uber Cup world women's team championships last year.

Gong Ruina had an easy time against the slow-starting Ye in the first set and demolished the former world champion 11-1. In the second, Ye found her stroke but Gong outsteadied her in a close game 11-9.

Zhou had a much more difficult time against the all-court retrieving style of Gong Zhichao. The Uber Cup heroine outrallied Zhou in the first to win it at 11-8. Zhou came back in the second and took the set 11-7 as Gong started to slow down. In the decider, Zhou was an easy 11-3 winner.

Gong and Zhou will battle for top honors today in one of three all-Chinese finals.

The Chinese new guard did not fare as well in the men's singles semifinals. Xia Xuanze was defeated by senior teammate Dong Jiong 11-15 and 4-15, and Xiao Hui lost to the Indo-Taiwanese veteran Fung Permadi 10-15 and 7-15.

In men's doubles action, world champions Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon of Korea were much too good for Indonesia's Antonius Budi Iriantho and Denny Kantono and won their semifinal match 15-5 and 15-3, while Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yong Sung, another Korean pair, beat Simon Archer and Nathan Robertson of England 15-8 and 15-13.

World women's doubles titleholders Ge Fei and Gu Jun trounced their teammates Chen Ling and Jiang Xuelian 15-3 and 15-7, and second seeds Gao Ling and Qin Yiyuan swamped Lee Hyo Jung and Yim Kyung Jin of Korea 15-8 and 15-0 to set up a second all-Chinese final.

The mixed doubles final will also be an all-Chinese contest. In yesterday's semifinals, (Ms.) Ge Fei and (Mr.) Liu Yong beat (Mr.) Lee Dong Soo and (Ms.) Lee Hyo Jung of Korea 15-3 and 15-5, and (Ms.) Gao Ling and (Mr.) Zhang Jun put out (Mr.) Jon Holst-Christensen and (Ms.) Ann Jorgensen of Denmark 15-9 and 15-9.


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