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Grand Prix Finals: Wong Choon Hann Gets Revenge

** 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) **

December 1, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Malaysia's Wong Choon Hann got his revenge against Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia and notched the major upset of the day today at the seventeenth running of the World Grand Prix Finals of badminton at the National Indoor Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Wong defeated Hidayat, the world number three in men's singles, in one of the first stage Group C round-robin matches.

Wong had been defeated twice by the eighteen-year old Hidayat in the same stadium last August during the South East Asian Games. Wong was humbled in the team competition finals 5-15 and 2-15 but was able to take a set off the talented Indonesian teenager in a 10-15, 15-11 and 11-15 loss during the individual event gold medal match.

In today's match, Hidayat started out well and took the first set 15-12. Early in the second, the Indonesian seemed like he would easily dispatch Wong as he raced to a 6-1 advantage. Wong kept trying to change the tempo of the rallies to offset the Indonesian's quickness of foot and speed of shot. The Malaysian did manage to mark some points but Hidayat was able to keep the lead and moved on to a seemingly unbeatable 13-6 score.

Hidayat though began to rush his strokes and make mistakes. Wong steadily made inroads into the Indonesian's advantage with good play until he finally pulled even at 13-all. Wong then took the lead at 14-13 and the set at 15-13.

In the decider, the Indonesian teenager's play was still spotty and Wong pulled away to a 5-2 lead. The Malaysian increased his advantage to 11-4 before Hidayat mounted a comeback of sorts to get somewhat closer at 8-11.

The Indonesian's play though continued to be below par and Wong was able to go on to claim victory at 15-9.

Wong's victory over the seeded Hidayat puts him in a good position to garner the semifinal berth allotted to the Group C winner. However, he still has to face Luo Yigang and Xia Xuanze, two players from China who are the other players in Group C. Luo beat Xia today 6-15, 17-14 and 15-6.

Hidayat, the seeded player in the group, on the other hand must beat both Luo and Xia and hope that Wong loses one or both of his matches, if he is to have a chance to move ahead in the competition.

World men's singles champion and defending titleist Sun Jun of China won his opening match in Group A but continued to raise doubts about his ability to win the Grand Prix Finals crown for an unprecented third consecutive time. Sun who is recovering from a lower back injury had a troubled 15-13 and 17-14 victory over Malaysia's Ong Ewe Hock.

The world champion is said to be only at about 70 percent. He moved about well on the court but had problems with shots that required him to bend deeply at the waist and stretch out for the shuttle.

Marleve Mainaky of Indonesia was the victor in the other men's singles Group A match. He defeated teammate Heryanto Arbi 15-12 and 15-9.

Men's singles world number two Peter Gade of Denmark had a comfortable opener in Group B. He beat Budi Santoso of Indonesia 15-9 and 15-9.

Chen Hong of China beat countryman Ji Xinpeng 15-10 and 15-10 in the other Group B contest.

Olympic men's singles champion Poul-Erik Hoyer of Denmark, the seeded player in Group D, also had a winning although difficult day. Down a set in the second, he had to save a match point before going on to beat Chen Gang of China 9-15, 15-14 and 15-5.

In the other men's singles Group D match, Hendrawan of Indonesia defeated Fung Permadi of Taiwan 8-15, 15-9 and 15-4.

In the women's doubles event, Gao Ling and Qin Yiyuan of China, one of the world's better pairs, were unable to play their opening match today because of a reported injury to Qin. Indonesia's lucky pair of Etty Tantri and Cynthia Tuwankotta got the benefit of Qin's misfortune and scored a victory in women's doubles Group B without having to hit a shuttle. Tantri and Tuwankotta were not among the original 8 qualifying pairs but made it into the competition at the last minute because world number eights Huang Nanyan and Yang Wei of China had to pull out due to injury.

In other women's doubles action, England's Joanne Goode sustained a lower back injury during one of today's matches. Goode and partner Donna Kellogg were a set down to Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen of Denmark when Goode threw in the proverbial towel.

Following are the results of today's other matches (* before player's name indicates a group seed):

Women's Singles
Group A - *Dai Yun (China) beat Cindana H. Kusuma (Indonesia) 11-7, 11-9; Yasuko Mizui (Japan) - bye
Group B - *Ye Zhaoying (China) beat Zhang Ning (China) 11-2, 7-11, 11-7; Kim Ji Hyun (Korea) - bye
Group C - Camilla Martin (Denmark) beat Lidya Djaelawidjaya (Indonesia) 11-0, 11-0; *Gong Zhichao - bye
Group D - Zhou Mi (China) beat *Gong Ruina (China) 11-5, 6-11, 11-6; Mette Sorensen (Denmark) - bye

Men's Doubles
Group A - *Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon (Korea) beat Antonius Budi Iriantho and Denny Kantono (Indonesia) 15-8, 15-4; Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah (Malaysia) beat Jens Eriksen and Jesper Larsen (Denmark) 15-11, 15-10
Group B - *Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yung Sung (Korea) beat Simon Archer and Nathan Robertson (England) 15-3, 10-15, 15-8; Tony Gunawan and Chandra Wijaya (Indonesia) beat Eng Hian and Flandy Limpele (Indonesia) 15-4, 10-15, 15-9

Women's Doubles
Group A - *Ge Fei and Gu Jun (China) beat Chen Lin and Jiang Xuelian (China) 9-15, 15-4, 15-13; Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen (Denmark) beat Joanne Goode and Donna Kellogg (England) 15-7, retired due to injury to Goode
Group B - *Chung Jae Hee and Ra Kyung Min (Korea) beat Ann Jorgensen and Majken Vange (Denmark) 15-3, 15-11; Etty Tantri and Cynthia Tuwankotta (Indonesia) beat Gao Ling and Qin Yiyuan (China) by walkover

Mixed Doubles
Group A - *Ms. Ge Fei and Mr. Liu Yong (China) beat Ms. Chung Jae Hee and Mr. Ha Tae Kwon (Korea) 15-4, 17-14; Mr. Bambang Suprianto and Ms. Resiana Zelin (Indonesia) beat Ms. Rikke Olsen and Mr. Michael Sogaard (Denmark) 17-14, 15-7
Group B - *Mr. Kim Dong Moon and Ms. Ra Kyung Min (Korea) beat Mr. Tri Kusheryanto and Ms. Minarti Timur (Indonesia) 15-4, 15-7; Mr. Jon Holst-Christensen and Ms. Ann Jorgensen (Denmark) beat Mr. Simon Archer and Ms. Joanne Goode (England) 15-11, 15-11

Following are tomorrow's matchups (* before player's name indicates a group seed; play starts at 3:00pm Brunei time):

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

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

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

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

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


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