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Hong Kong Open: Cheah And Yap Top Sigit And Halim

** 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 27, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock of Malaysia, silver medalists at the 1996 Olympic Games, today defeated Sigit Budiarto and Halim Heryanto of Indonesia 15-12 and 15-12 in the men's doubles final of the one-star Hong Kong Open badminton championhips and took another step forward in their belated bid to qualify for the Sydney Olympiad next year.

Yap had retired last year because of shoulder injuries and had taken up assistant coaching duties with the Malaysian national team. He decided in the middle of this year to attempt a comeback, after he played well and without pain during sparring sessions. In the meantime, Cheah had tried playing with different partners without much success and with some controversy. When Yap made his decision to once again compete internationally, the Malaysian team officials put the Olympic and world championships silver medalists together again.

In their match today against Budiarto and Heryanto, the Malaysians were slightly better early as the Indonesians tried to find their bearings in the opening set. Budiarto and Halim though began to click in mid-game. Their smashes and killshots began to score and they pulled away to an 11-5 advantage.

The Malaysians battled back and were able to gain the attack in the rallies that followed. Cheah and Yap's strokes put Budiarto and Heryanto on the defensive and their smashes and kills put them back on an even keel with the Indonesians at 11-all.

After that, Budiarto and Heryanto continued to sputter on the attack, while Cheah and Yap continued with their onslaught and won the set 15-12.

In the second game, Budiarto and Heryanto undid themselves with service mistakes and smashing errors. Cheah and Yap capitalized on the Indonesian miscues and took the set 15-12.

In the men's singles final, Chen Wei of China survived a leg injury early in the first set and gritted his way to a 15-12 and 15-4 title victory over Tam Kai Chuen of the Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region (SAR).

China took two other titles. Xie Xinfang came back from an opening game setback to beat Hong Kong's Ling Wan Ting 7-11, 11-4 and 11-4 and thus claim the women's singles crown. Chen Lin and Jiang Xuelian captured the women's doubles championship. They defeated their teammates Huang Sui and Lu Ying in a closely fought final 15-17, 15-12 and 15-8.

In the mixed doubles title contest, the youthful Malaysian pairing of (Mr.) Chan Chong Ming and (Ms.) Joanna Quay Swee Ling defeated the equally youthful Chinese combination of (Ms.) Chen Lin and (Mr.) Guo Siwei 15-11 and 15-8.


Posted With The Permission Of The Copyright Holder.