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Grand Prix Finals: China Leads With Seventeen Entries

** 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 25, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Seventeen entries from badminton powerhouse China qualified for the seventeenth edition of the World Grand Prix Finals of badminton scheduled for December 1 to 5 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. The Grand Prix Finals is badminton's year-ending tournament and features the world's top 16 men's singles players, top 12 women's singles competitors, top 8 men's doubles pairs, top 8 women's doubles combinations, and top 8 mixed doubles teams.

Indonesia qualified 12 entries and Denmark 9.

Not only did the Chinese qualify 17 entries, they also landed the top seeded positions in four of the five events. World champion Sun Jun is the top pick in men's singles, Dai Yun is the first seed in women's singles. Women's doubles world champions Ge Fei and Gu Jun lead the entries in their event and the pair of Ge Fei and Liu Yong are the pole-sitters in mixed doubles.

World champions Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon are the favorites in the men's doubles event which has no Chinese qualifiers.

China's Dong Jiong, winner of the men's singles title at last week's China Open, qualified at the number 16 spot but has begged off because of illness. He was replaced by Xia Xuanze of China who was ranked at number 17.

Notably absent from the men's doubles qualifiers are Olympic champions Rexy Mainaky and Ricky Subagja of Indonesia who did not play in enough tournaments this year to get into the top 8. The pair had been a fixture at the Grand Prix Finals since 1992.

The first stage of the Grand Prix Finals is a round-robin competition. The 16 men's singles qualifiers are pooled into 4 groups of 4 players. The players in each group will play each other over the first 3 days of the tournament. The player with the best record in each group after the round-robin moves into the semifinals.

The 12 women's singles entries are pooled into 4 groups of 3. Like the men's singles players, the qualifiers in each group will play each other with the group winner moving ahead into the semifinals.

The 8 men's doubles qualifiers are pooled into 2 groups of 4. The pairs in each group play each other with the top two pairs in each group after the round-robin gaining semifinal berths.

The women's doubles and mixed doubles competitions will operate in the same manner as the men's doubles.

Following are the qualifiers and the groups to which they have been assigned (* before the player's name indicates that the player or pair is seeded):

Men's Singles
Group A - *Sun Jun (China), Marleve Mainaky (Indonesia), Heryanto Arbi (Indonesia), Ong Ewe Hock (Malaysia)
Group B - *Peter Gade (Denmark), Chen Hong (China), Budi Santoso (Indonesia), Ji Xinpeng (China)
Group C - *Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia), Wong Choon Hann (Malaysia), Luo Yigang (China), Xia Xuanze (China)
Group D - *Poul-Erik Hoyer (Denmark), Fung Permadi (Taiwan), Hendrawan (Indonesia), Chen Gang (China)

Women's Singles
Group A - *Dai Yun (China), Yasuko Mizui (Japan), Cindana Hartono Kusuma (Indonesia)
Group B - *Ye Zhaoying (China), Zhang Ning (China), Kim Ji Hyun (Korea)
Group C - *Gong Zhichao (China), Camilla Martin (Denmark), Lidya Djaelawidjaya (Indonesia)
Group D - *Gong Ruina (China), Zhou Mi (China), Mette Sorensen (Denmark)

Men's Doubles
Group A - *Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon (Korea), Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah (Malaysia), Antonius Budi Iriantho and Denny Kantono (Indonesia), Jens Eriksen and Jesper Larsen (Denmark)
Group B - *Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yung Sung (Korea), Tony Gunawan and Chandra Wijaya (Indonesia), Simon Archer and Nathan Robertson (England), Eng Hian and Flandy Limpele (Indonesia)

Women's Doubles
Group A - *Ge Fei and Gu Jun (China), Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen (Denmark), Chen Lin and Jiang Xuelian (China), Joanne Goode and Donna Kellogg (England)
Group B - *Chung Jae Hee and Ra Kyung Min (Korea), Gao Ling and Qin Yiyuan (China), Huang Nanyan and Yang Wei (China), Ann Jorgensen and Majken Vange (Denmark)

Mixed Doubles
Group A - *Ms. Ge Fei and Mr. Liu Yong (China), Ms. Rikke Olsen and Mr. Michael Sogaard (Denmark), Ms. Chung Jae Hee and Mr. Ha Tae Kwon (Korea), Mr. Bambang Suprianto and Ms. Resiana Zelin (Indonesia)
Group B - *Mr. Kim Dong Moon and Ms. Ra Kyung Min (Korea), Mr. Simon Archer and Ms. Joanne Goode (England), Mr. Tri Kusharyanto and Ms. Minarti Timur (Indonesia), Mr. Jon Holst-Christensen and Ms. Ann Jorgensen (Denmark)


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