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Grand Prix Finals: World's Best Start Battles Tomorrow

** 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 30, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The world's best badminton players start to battle each other on the badminton courts tomorrow at the World Grand Prix Finals, the sport's year-ending tournament of champions, at the National Indoor Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Sixteen of the top men's singles competitors in 1999, twelve of the best women's singles exponents, eight of the top men's doubles pairs, eight of the best women's doubles tandems and eight of the top mixed doubles teams will be vying for the title of World Grand Prix Finals champion and the biggest prize money of the year in each of the five badminton events.

The men's singles contestants are led by world champion Sun Jun. Women's singles world number one Dai Yun of China top the entries in her event, and world champion Camilla Martin is also competing. In men's doubles contest, world champions Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon of Korea are the favourites. Olympic and world titleists Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China are the top seeds in women's doubles.

In mixed doubles, (Ms.) Ge Fei and (Mr.) Liu Yong of China are the number one picks. World champions (Mr.) Kim Dong Moon and (Ms.) Ra Kyung Min are also favoured.

The first stage of the World Grand Prix Finals is in a round-robin format. The competitors have been split into groups with the players or teams in each group battling each other over the next three days. The players at the top of the group standings at the end of the first stage move into the semifinals on Saturday. In the doubles events, the second-placers in each group also move into the semifnals.

The men's singles players are pooled into four groups of four, while the women's singles contestants have been split into four groups of three. The doubles pairs have been organized into two groups of four in each of the three doubles events.

Two of the original qualifiers for this the seventeenth World Grand Prix Finals have scratched due to illness or injury. Dong Jiong of China, men's singles winner of the China Open two weeks ago, pulled out because he was ill. His place was taken by the world number 17 Xia Xuanze of China. Huang Nanyan and Yang Wei of China have also withdrawn from the women's doubles contest. Their berth was taken by Etty Tantri and Cynthia Tuwankotta of Indonesia, the world number nines.

Following are tomorrow's matchups (* before player's name indicates that the player or pair is the group seed):

December 1, 1999
(play starts at 3:00pm Brunei time)

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

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

Men's Doubles
Group A
*Ha T.K. and Kim D.M. (Korea) vs. D. Kantono and A.B. Iriantho (Indonesia)
J. Eriksen and J. Larsen (Denmark) vs. Choong T.F. and Lee W.W. (Malaysia)
Group B
S. Archer and N. Robertson (England) vs. *Lee D.S. and Yoo Y.S. (Korea)
T. Gunawan and C. Wijaya (Indonesia) vs. E. Hian and F. Limpele (Indonesia)

Women's Doubles
Group A
Chen L. and Jiang X. (China) vs. *Ge F. and Gu J. (China)
H. Kirkegaard and R. Olsen (Denmark) vs. J. Goode and D. Kellogg (England)
Group B
A. Jorgensen and M. Vange (Denmark) vs. *Chung J.H. and Ra K.M. (Korea)
Gao L. and Qin Y. (China) vs. E. Tantri and C. Tuwankotta (Indonesia)

Mixed Doubles
Group A
*Ms. Ge F. and Mr. Liu Y. (China) vs. Ms. Chung J.H. and Mr. Ha T.K. (Korea)
Ms. R. Olsen and Mr. M. Sogaard (Denmark) vs. Mr. B. Suprianto and Ms. R. Zelin (Indonesia)
Group B
*Mr. Kim D.M. and Ms. Ra K.M. (Korea) vs. Mr. T. Kusheryanto and Ms. M. Timur (Indonesia)
Mr. J. Holst-Christensen and Ms. A. Jorgensen (Denmark) vs. Mr. S. Archer and Ms. J. Goode (England)


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