NEWSBITS FROM THE HONG KONG OPEN
compiled by Mike Grossman
November 12, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - The following are bits of little-
publicized news from the badminton Hong Kong Open:
== Top-seed Rashid Sidek of Malaysia pulled out of the competition at
the last minute because of a stomach disorder. His withdrawal meant that
Tam Lok Tin of Hong Kong who had drawn Sidek in the opening round got a
free ride to the round-of-16. It also opened the door for Deepankar
Bhattacharya of India to make a Grand Prix quarterfinals appearance
(Bhattacharya defeated Tam in the round-of-16).
== Second-seed Ong Ewe Hock of Malaysia was unable to play because of
the back injury that he suffered during the German Open. 9-16 seed Pang
Chen of Malaysia also did not play.
== The dangerous Salim of Indonesia who made his first appearance in a
Grand Prix final at this Hong Kong Open beat 5-8 seed Kim Hak Kyun of
Korea in the first round, 9-16 seed Tam Kai Chuen of Hong Kong in the
round of 16, qualifier Wong Choon Han of Malaysia in the quarters and
then the 3-4 seed Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen of Denmark in the semis.
== Wong Choon Han was the bright spot for the decimated Malaysian
singles representation at the Hong Kong Open. Wong had to play in the
qualifying rounds to get to the main draw. He then beat 9-16 seed Rikard
Magnusson of Sweden in the first round. He was also the beneficiary of
the withdrawal of Ong Ewe Hock who would have been his round-of-16
opponent. Instead, he got to play a lesser player in Wang Chia Cherng of
Taipei. He beat Wang to book a spot in the quarterfinals where eventual
finalist Salim ended his run.
== Fung Permadi was the ultimate beneficiary of the Sidek and Ong
pull-out. Permadi won his second 5-star Grand Prix tourney in two
weeks after going championship-less for so long.
When it rains, boy does it pour for the Indonesian-turned-Taiwanese
== Camilla Martin's win over Mia Audina surprised many knowledgeable
observers who had touted the young Indonesian as a heavy favourite in
the finals. Audina had defeated Martin handily in their last encounter
at the U.S. Open. She also had had a run of easy and untroubled wins
on her way to the finals while Martin had a battle of a semifinal against
Ra Kyung Min of Korea.
== Ra's semifinal result raises Korean hopes that their women's singles
success will continue despite the now-confirmed retirement of Olympic
gold medalist Bang Soo Hyun. Bang has stopped training with the Korean
team after her marriage to a doctor and is reportedly on her way to a
university in the southern USA to further her studies.
== The unseeded Brenda Beenhakker of the Netherlands got to the
quarterfinals beating Peng Jie of China and then the 5-8 seed Anne
Sondergaard of Denmark in three games.
== The top-seeds and eventual champions Antonius (Iriantho) and Denny
Kantono of Indonesia had to beat three top pairs in a row to win the
top prize - the U.S. and China Open champions Sigit and Chandra Wijaya
(Indonesia), the world number 6 duo of Tony Gunawan and Rudy Wijaya
(also Indonesia), and the Olympic silver medalists and world number 2
team of Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock (Malaysia).
== Cheah and Yap's road to the finals went through Zhang Song Tao and
Xiao Ting of China (first round), Hian Eng and Hermono of Indonesia
(round-of-16), Bambang Suprianto and Dicky Purwotsugiono of Indonesia
(quarterfinals), and the Thai team of Kitipon Kitikul and Pramote
== Olympic gold medalists Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky lost in the
round of 16 to Koreans Hwang Sun Ho and Lee Dong Soo in two games.
Observers say that the extended post-Olympic celebrations and layoff as
well as Mainaky's recent marriage is affecting the play of the R-and-R
== Best of the Europeans in this event was the Danish team of Michael
Sogaard and Henrik Svarrer who made the quarters. The top-rated European
pair of Jon-Holst Christensen and Thomas Lund (Denmark) lost to Kitipon
Kitikul and Pramote Teerawiwatana of Thailand in the round-of-16, while
Swedes Peter Axelsson and Par-Gunnar Jonsson went down in their opening
match to Sigit and Chandra Wijaya.
== Indonesian Bambang Suprianto and new partner Dicky Purwotsugiono beat
5-8 seeds Ha Tae Kwon and Kang Kyung Jin of Korea in their opener and got
to the quarters where they lost to Cheah and Yap. Bambang, who used to form
one of the world's best pairs with the now-retired Rudy Gunawan, is trying
out Purwotsugiono as a partner. Dicky is also an excellent doubles player
and is ranked 14th in the world with Sigit.
== The Indonesian pairings at this tournament may be the ones that coach
Christian Hadinata will be using in the runup to the world championships
in May 1997 - Ricky Subagja/Rexy Mainaky, Antonius/Denny Kantono, Tony
Gunawan/Rudy Wijaya, Sigit/Chandra Wijaya, and Bambang Suprianto/Dicky
Purwotsugiono. Odd man out would be Ade Sutrisna who used to partner with
== Top-seeds Rosiana Zelin and Eliza as well as second-seeds Helene
Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen did not compete. Their withdrawal necessitated
a redoing of the women's doubles draw.
== Major beneficiary of the redraw was the hometown pair of Ng Ching and
Tung Chau Man who, instead of facing the winner of a Zelin/Eliza versus
Park Soo Yun/Kim Mee Hyang matchup in the second round, got to play some
weaker pairs. Ng and Ching won their way thru to the semifinals where they
were demolished by the German Open champions Indarti Isoliana and Denyana
== Susi Susanti, the great Indonesian singles player who was playing
doubles at the China and Hong Kong Opens as a way of getting back into
competitive mode without affecting her singles rankings, and also as a
tryout of the event as a possible post-singles career move, was another
beneficiary of the redraw. Instead of playing the the 3-4 seeds and
eventual champions Marlene Thomsen and Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen of Denmark
in their opening match, Susanti and Finarsih got to play some lesser
opposition and qualified for the semifinals, where they lost to Thomsen
and Stuer in three games.
== Jens Eriksen did it again. The Danish doubles specialist took down
the favourites again and made it to the finals. Eriksen and partner
Marlene Thomsen, half of the 1995 world champions, upended the top-seeds
Nimpele Flandy and Rosalina Riseu of Indonesia in the quarterfinals of
the smallish 14-entry draw and then beat the 3-4 seeds from Sweden, Pete
Axelsson and Catrine Bengtsson, in the semis.
At the German Open last month, Eriksen and scratch partner Anne-Mette
Bille also surprised several seeded pairs on their way to the finals.
At the 1995 world championships, Eriksen and his then-partner Helene
Kirkegaard upended several highly ranked pairs and won silver medals.
This is the second tournament for the Eriksen-Thomsen pair. In their
first outing, the Danish duo made the semifinals. If the two keep
playing together, Denmark will have at least three top-flight mixed
doubles pairs vying to keep the world championship in Danish hands
come May - Sogaard/Olsen, Stavngaard/Jorgensen, and Eriksen/Thomsen.
== Second-seeds Michael "Rubberman" Sogaard and Rikke Olsen of Denmark
beat compatriots Eriksen and Thomsen in the finals 15-8 and 15-11.
== With Helene Kirkegaard unable to play in the women's doubles, Rikke
Olsen did not have to do double duty and was able to stay fresh and focused
for the mixed event.
COPYRIGHT (c) 1996 by NEW SHUTTLENWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.