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Canadian Open: Red Maple Leaf Flies High In Edmonton

** 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) **

September 26, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The red maple leaf, Canada's national symbol, flew high at the Royal Glenora Club in Edmonton in the the Canadian province of Alberta today in the finals of the Canadian Open badminton championships when players from the host country took all five of the titles at stake at the A-category international tournament.

Veterans Iain Sydie and Denyse Julien won the mixed doubles crown. They beat fellow Canadians Brent Olynyk and Robbyn Hermitage in today's championship match 14-4 and 15-3.

Brian Abra captured the men's singles title. He defeated another Canadian, Marlon Samuel, 15-3 and 15-9 in the final. Charmaine Reid took the women's equivalent when she defeated Canadian archrival Kara Solmundson 1-11, 11-4 and 13-10.

Edmonton-based playing coach Wen Wang and partner Darryl Yung got the benefit of a very close line call at championship point in the men's doubles final to edge past Scotland's Alastair Gatt and Craig Robertson 9-15, 15-10 and 17-16 in the only final of the day that featured visiting players.

In the women's doubles final, Milaine Cloutier and Robbyn Hermitage recovered from a stretch of poor play early in the first set and overcame Denyse Julien and Charmaine Reid 17-14 and 15-8.

In the mixed doubles title match, Sydie and Julien, the current Pan-American and Canadian champions, were never in trouble against the top-seeded pair of Olynyk and Hermitage. The Pan-Am champions banked on Sydie's powerful smash and lightning-fast drive, Julien's fine touch shots and excellent defending from both to surge to a 5-0 lead in the first set and roll on to a 15-4 win.

The second set featured more of the same. Sydie and Julien raced to a 6-0 advantage before Hermitage scored on a fine off-speed backhand smash. Olynyk then added a second marker with a crosscourt smash winner. But Sydie and Julien blasted away and pulled further ahead 12-2. After a short pause when the service judge's chair broke and had to be replaced, Olynyk and Hermitage broke through again for another score.

However, that was all the scoring that Olynyk and Hermitage could muster today. The Pan-Am champions reached match point 14-3 when Olynyk's powerful smash was called out. Hermitage saved one match point with an exquisitely played crosscourt net shot. Sydie and Julien though were not to be denied. They thwarted Olynyk and Hermitage's two service chances and scored the championship winner on their next service turn.

In the men's singles final, Brian Abra pulled away to a 4-0 lead in the first set and banked on his better conditioning and variety of shots to come out ahead in many furious four-corner rallies with Marlon Samuel. Abra took the first game 15-3.

Samuel came out in the second set, determined. Samuel notched the first two points on an jumping dropshot mistake by Abra and on a snap off-speed leaping smash. Abra though came back quickly as Samuel began to show signs of tiring.

Abra caught up to Samuel at 2-all and then raced to a 9-2 advantage on many miscues by Samuel. Samuel then buckled down. He mounted a fightback, cutting down on his mistakes and using many four-corner rallies to induce errors from Abra. He was able to narrow the gap to 8-11, but the effort took its toll on Samuel's energy reserves. He was not able to come any closer and Abra went on to finish Samuel off 15-9.

In the women's singles championship match, the top-seeded Kara Solmundson looked like she was going to run away with the title when she romped past an error-prone Charmaine Reid 11-1 in the first set.

At the start of the second game, Reid fought determinedly while Solmundson battled to keep the upperhand. Neither player could score in the first ten service turns. Solmundson broke the scoring drought with a surprising twisting round-the-head dropshot winner. She added another with a super-tight netshot spinner and she seemd to be on her way to the title.

Reid though had other ideas. She started to mix in angled dropshots to either corner with her clears and smashes. She also began to get Solmundson's power shots back over the net. She pulled even with Solmundson at 4-all then raced away with 7 scores to win at 11-4.

In the decider, Reid cashed in on two early mistakes by Solmundson and also several of her own scoring shots to take the upper hand 6-2 at the change of ends. Solmundson then battled back and narrowed the gap. Reid countered and, after many rallies, reached championship point at 10-8.

Solmundson once again came on strong. She fought off Reid's championship point and scored twice to force a three-point tiebreak at 10-all. Reid got the service back and tallied twice to gain another championship point. Solmundson again foiled Reid at championship point. However, she was not able to score on her serve.

At Reid's next match point, she pressured Solmundson into a mishit on the backhand side to win the set and the title at 13-10.

In the men's doubles final, the rifle-shot smashes of Scotland's Alastair Gatt and Craig Robertson offset the quickness and athleticism of Wen Wang and staked the Scots to a 15-9 first set win. In the second game, Wang's quickness and racket skills together with steadier play from Darryl Yung paid dividends for the Canadians. They took the second 15-10.

In the decider, the Scottish power began to assert itself early and the two Scots gained a 4-1 lead. Robertson then gifted the Canadians with a point when he put a service return into the net. In the next rally, Yung went on the attack from the backcourt and set up Wang for a point-scoring kill.

The following exchange also went in the Canadians' favor despite a fantastic between-the-legs smash block by Gatt. Wang and Yung then scored twice to inch ahead 6-4.

The Scots came back to tie at 6-all, first on a Gatt half-kill finish of a Robertson series of attacking shots and then on a very tight net spinner by Wang that did not make it over the net. Robertson then put the Scots ahead 7-6 with a series of smashes. After exchanging service turns, the Scots scored twice more to lead 9-6.

Back came the Canadians to tie up the game at 9-all and then to lead at 11-9. Gatt and Robertson fought back and the two pairs battled to deuce at 14-all. In the three-point tiebreak, the Scots gained championship point at 16-14 and thought they had won it when a Canadian smash sailed into the rear court. Gatt did not swing at the shuttle, judging the shot to be on its way out. The line judge though called the shot in, to the Scots' surprise.

Wang and Yung did not waste the second chance. They scored the next three points against the unsettled Scots to win the men's doubles title.

The controversial line call that went against the Scots was very close and for many minutes after the match, many in the crowd and even those seated at the Scottish backline were still asking each other whether the shot was in or out.

In the women's doubles final, Denyse Julien and Charmaine Reid dominated the the first game and had set point 14-8 against the top-seeded pair of Milaine Cloutier and Robbyn Hermitage. The top seeds though battled back with determined play from Robbyn Hermitage. She played her side back into the contest 9-14, 10-14 and then 11-14. Cloutier then got into gear and scored with a smash at Reid to put the score at 12-14.

The top seeds pressured their opponents in the next rally and forced Reid into a stretching off-balance lift that sailed long. They had narrowed the gap to 13-14. Cloutier then tied up the game at 14-all when she scored with a series of hammering kills.

In the tiebreak that followed, Cloutier and Hermitage drew first blood when Cloutier went on the attack from the back court and set up Hermitage for an incredible twisted-body round-the-head killshot winner. The top seeds then gained set point when they pressured Julien and Reid into an off-balance stretching backhanded net shot mistake.

Julien saved set point with a kill shot. Julien and Reid then got the serve but they were unable to score on their two chances. On their service turn, the top seeds tallied the set winner when Hermitage finished off a rally with a stinging smash that Reid failed to block.

Cloutier and Hermitage were in full control early in the second set. They gained a quick 3-0 lead and pulled away to a 10-3 advantage. Julien and Reid battled back to close the gap but the top seeds had gotten too large a lead and could not be headed. Cloutier and Hermitage won the second set 15-8.

Following are the results of the quarterfinal and semifinal matches played previously:

Men's Singles
Mike Beres (Canada) beat Neil Hutchinson (Canada) 15-6, 15-3
Brian Abra (Canada) beat Craig Robertson (Scotland) 15-5, 15-10
Robert Blair (Scotland) beat Lance Hunter (Canada) 8-15, 15-10, 15-9
Marlon Samuel (Canada) beat Stefan Wojcikiewicz (Canada) 9-15, 15-9, 15-4
Abra beat Beres 15-3, 4-15, 15-7
Samuel beat Blair 15-10, 15-6

Women's Singles
Kara Solmundson (Canada) beat Anna Rice (Canada) 11-9, 9-11, 11-4
Jody Patrick (Canada) beat Sandra Watt (Scotland) no score reported; Watt retired from the match due to injury
Denyse Julien (Canada) beat Fiona Sneddon (Scotland) 11-2, 11-2
Charmaine Reid (Canada) beat Jennifer Wong (Canada) 11-2, 11-1
Solmundson beat Patrick 13-11, 6-11, 13-10
Reid beat Julien 11-9, 11-4

Men's Doubles
Alastair Gatt and Craig Robertson (Scotland) beat Morgan Van Heukelom and Phil Allard (Canada) 15-8, 15-8
Iain Sydie and William Milroy (Canada) beat Bryan Moody and Brent Olynyk (Canada) 15-13, 15-6
Wen Wang and Darryl Yung (Canada) beat Stefan Wojciekiewicz and Steve Smith (Canada) 15-5, 15-7
Patrice Flynn and Jean-Pierre Goyette (Canada) beat Stephen Foster and Len Clapham (England) 15-4, 17-14
Gatt and Robertson beat Sydie and Milroy 15-10, 15-11
Wang and Yung beat Flyn and Goyette 15-6, 15-8

Women's Doubles
Milaine Cloutier and Robbyn Hermitage (Canada) beat Jianpin He Situ and Svetlana Zerralde (Mexico) by walkover
Caroline Spiers and Lindy Van Riper (Canada) beat Kitty Wong and Tiffany Chan (Canada) 15-10, 15-1
Julia Chen and Jennifer Wong (Canada) beat Fiona Sneddon and Sandra Watt (Scotland) 15-8, 9-15, 15-3
Denyse Julien and Charmaine Reid (Canada) beat De La Luna and Magallanes (Mexico) by walkover
Cloutier and Hermitage beat Spiers and Van Riper 15-0, 15-9
Julien and Reid beat Chen and Wong 15-5, 15-10

Mixed Doubles
Brent Olynyk and Robbyn Hermitage (Canada) beat William Milroy and Milaine Cloutier (Canada) 17-15, 11-15, 15-11
Mike Beres and Kara Solmundson (Canada) beat Phil Allard and Anna Rice (Canada) 15-13, 15-12
Jean-Pierre Goyette and Julia Chen (Canada) beat Morgan Van Heukelom and Jennifer Wong (Canada) 9-15, 15-11, 15-6
Iain Sydie and Denyse Julien (Canada) beat Sam Smith and Lindy Van Riper (Canada) 15-4, 15-1
Olynyk and Hermitage beat Beres and Solmundson 17-14, 15-6
Sydie and Julien beat Goyette and Chen 15-7, 15-5


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