OLYMPIC BRONZE PAIR BEATS SILVER AT HONG KONG OPEN
by Mike Grossman (from reports filed by Mike and Mimi Lau and YANG YANG Badminton Equipment)
November 10, 1996 (New SHuttlenws) - The badminton men's doubles bronze
medalists from the Atlanta Olympics, Antonius (Iriantho) and Denny Kantono
of Indonesia, today turned the tables on the silver medalists, Cheah Soon
Kit and Yap Kim Hock of Malaysia, in the championship match of the Hong
Kong Open at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong.
The Malaysians were completely off-form today and were beaten by the
Indonesian pair in a 30-minute match that lacked the usual high
excitement level of a men's doubles matchup between a top Indonesian
pair and a world-class Malaysian combination.
The match was competitive only in the early stages of the first game
when both sides were tied at 3-all. The usually overpowering Malaysian
smash attack turned ineffective against the quick-reflexed A-and-K pair
who dug out and blocked back most Malaysian smashes and kills. Antonius
and Kantono often were able to turn defense into attack and then score
on smashes that found the off-form Malaysians helpless, specially on shots
aimed in between the two Malaysians.
The Indonesians stormed into the lead after breaking the 3-all deadlock.
Cheah and Yap struggled to score some points and narrow the gap at 6-11 but
A-and-K then managed to stop the Malaysian scoring and tallied 4 of their
own to claim the first game at 15-6.
In the second game, Antonius and Kantono seized an early lead before
Cheah and Yap scored two points. Leading at 6-2, A-and-K then blistered
the Malaysian pair and tallied the next 8 markers to get to match point.
With their backs to the proverbial wall, Cheah and Yap stiffened their
defenses and managed to retrieve the serve. The Malaysians tallied a
point to bring the score to 14-3 in favor of A-and-K, but that was all
the scoring the off-form Olympic silver medalists from Malaysia could
muster today. The A-and-K pair closed out the game at 15-6 to clinch
the Hong Kong Open championship.
In the women's doubles final, Marlene Thomsen and Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen
of Denmark defeated the Indonesian pair of Isoliana Indarti and Denyana
Lomban 15-9 and 15-12 to become the 1996 Hong Kong Open titleholders.
COPYRIGHT (c) 1996 by NEW SHUTTLENWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.