Audina and Wang Also Eliminated; Full Day 3 Results
by Mike Grossman (from a report filed by J. Chang)

December 6, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - All of the men's singles heavy favorites and two of the women's singles seeds at the badminton Grand Prix Finals in Denpasar on the island of Bali in Indonesia failed it to make it out of the round-robin first stage and into the semifinals.

Joko Suprianto of Indonesia, the current top-rated men's singles player in the world, was unable to play for the second straight day, giving Fung Permadi of Taipei a free ride into the semifinals as the winner of Group A.

Suprianto had slipped in his match against Chen Gang of China on Wednesday and had injured his thigh. Despite the injury, he managed to beat Chen, although he did complain about severe pain after the match.

Yesterday, he was not able to take the court against Martin Lundgaard Hansen of Denmark and defaulted the match. According to an Indonesian source, Suprianto had an allergic skin reaction to the medication that was used to treat his injury.

Suprianto's condition was apparently worse than originally thought and the thigh injury prevented him from playing today. It could also stop him from playing in the invitational World Cup tourney in Jakarta next week.

1996 Olympic champion Poul-Eric Hoyer-Larsen of Denmark lost his crucial third match to the 1992 Olympic gold medal-holder, Alan Budikusuma of Indonesia, 15-7 and 15-6. The loss was Hoyer's second in the round-robin phase. Budikusuma, who has been in good playing form in this tourney, moves ahead into the semifinals as the Group D winner.

Olympic silver medalist Dong Jiong of China defeated the tall Danish player, Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen, 15-10 and 15-6 to boost his Group B record to 2-wins and 1-loss. However, Indra Wijaya of Indonesia, winner over Dong on Wednesday, pulled off his second upset victory in the tournament when he defeated Ong Ewe Hock of Malaysia 5-15, 15-4 and 15-4.

The victory gave Indra Wijaya a tie in the Group B standings with Dong. The tiebreaking or countback procedure was in Wijaya's favor with his earlier win over Dong and made him the semifinalist from Group B.

In Group C, Rashid Sidek of Malaysia, the Olympic bronze medalist and group seed, and Sun Jun of China both went into their match sporting 2-win and no-loss records, with the winner moving into the semis. Sidek and Sun battled for every point in the first with Sun emerging the winner at 15-12. In the second, the two played just as hard and went into a setting or tiebreak at 14-all, before Sun managed to pull out the victory 17-14.

In women's singles, Gong Zhichao of China, a player who only started to make her mark after the Olympics, upset the current top-rated player in the world, Mia Audina of Indonesia, to gain the semifinals.

Gong raced to an early lead in the first game as Audina started slowly. Gong never gave up her lead and she won the first quite handily 11-2. In the second , Audina was all fired up, but Gong was up to the task. The two players battled into a setting or overtime with Gong surprisingly coming out on top 12-10.

With the victory, Gong raised her record to 2-wins and no losses and moves ahead into the semis as the Group A winner.

In Group C, Camilla Martin of Denmark went into her match with Wang Chen of China, needing to win decisively in two games in order to tie up the group standings at 1-win and 1-loss each and to have a chance at gaining the semis in the countback.

Martin started to do just that in the first as she blanked the younger Chinese player 11-0. Wang woke up in the second and the two battled for every point into a setting, where the more-experienced Martin had the edge. Martin won 12-10.

The win put Martin in a tie in the standings with Wang and Lidya Djaeladwidjaya of Indonesia. Her 11-0 first game win over Wang today gave her the nod in the countback procedure that is used to break ties in badminton round-robin competition.

In Group B, world champion Ye Zhaoying of China notched her second win when she beat Meiliawati of Indonesia 11-6 and 12-10. Ye moves on to the semifinals as the Group B winner.

Susi Susanti of Indonesia joined the women's singles semifinalist roster as the Group D representative with her 11-5 and 11-4 victory over Han Jingna of China.

In men's doubles, the Olympic gold medalists Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky of Indonesia played silver medalists Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock of Malaysia in a Group A match that only counted for placings. Both pairs had already assured themselves of semifinal berths yesterday.

The gold medalists started off well and took the first game 15-7. In the second, the Indonesians coasted as the lack of conditioning caught up to them specially to the newly-married Rexy Mainaky. Cheah and Yap had an easy second-game win at 15-3.

The third game saw the Indonesians back at full power and the two pairs staged a battle royale that went into a 5-point setting at 13-all. The overtime was also tightly contested but Cheah and Yap were the steadier pair and they won 18-16.

With the victory, Cheah and Yap took top honors in Group A. Ricky and Rexy placed second.

In Group B, Chandra Wijaya and Sigit Budiarto of Indonesia had already clinched top honors yesterday. They finished the round-robin stage with an unblemished record when the duo beat Lee Wan Wah and Choong Tan Fook of Malaysia 15-6 and 15-9.

In the other Group B match, the pair of Antonius Iriantho and Denny Kantono from Indonesia and the team of Jon Holst-Christensen and Thomas Lund of Denmark were playing for the other semifinalist berth. The Indonesians, bronze medalists at the Atlanta Olympics, were just too quick for the Danish pair to overcome. Antonius and Kantono beat Holst and Lund 15-6 and 15-12 to gain the semifinals.

In women's doubles Group A, Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen and Marlene Thomsen of Denmark ended the semifinal hopes of Indarti Isoliana and Denyana Lomban of Indonesia, the current world number ones. Stuer and Thomsen dropped the first game 9-15 but recovered to win the next two and the match and a spot in the semifinals, 15-9 and 15-6.

In the other Group A match, Qin Yiyuan and Tang Yongshu of China, the Olympic bronze medalists, won their third match, a 15-1 and 15-9 victory over Christine Gandrup and Marina Andrievskaia of Sweden. Qin and Tang placed first in the group ahead of Stuer and Thomsen.

In Group B, Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China, the Olympic gold medalists, beat Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen of Denmark 15-7 and 15-7 to raise their record to 3-wins and no losses and to gain the semis as the Group B winner.

Eliza and Rosiana Zelin of Indonesia defeated Nicola Beck and Joanne Davies of England 15-7 and 15-5 to move into the semis as the Group B runner-up with their 2-win 1-loss slate.

In the mixed doubles event, Imam Tohari and Ema Ermawati of Indonesia beat Chris Hunt of England and Helene Kirkegaard of Denmark 10-15, 15-10 and 15-8 and put themselves into a tie for the second semfinal berth out of Group A.

Top-seeds Tri Kusheryanto and Minarti Timur beat Thomas Stavngaard and Ann Jorgensen of Denmark 15-5 and 15-4 to finish the round-robin stage undefeated in Group A.

Stavngaard-Jorgensen, Hunt-Kirkegaard and Tohari-Ermawati all stand with 1 win and 2 losses at the end of the round-robin stage, but Stavngaard and Jorgensen had the best points differential and gained a semifinal berth as the Group A runner-up.

In Group B, Peter Axelsson and Catrine Bengtsson of Sweden, losers of their first 2 matches, beat Nick Ponting and Joanne Goode of England today 15-12 and 15-12 to get into a tie for second place.

Group B leaders Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen of Denmark defeated Nimpele Flandy and Rosalina Riseu of Indonesia 15-13 and 15-9 to win the group and the winner's spot in the semifinals outright with 3 wins.

Axelsson-Bengtsson, Ponting-Goode and Flandy-Riseu ended up in a tie for the second semifinal spot from Group B. The tiebreaker or countback process put the Swedish pair into the semis by virtue of their having won one game more than the others.

The semifinal matchups for tomorrow:

Men's Singles
Fung Permadi - Chinese Taipei vs Indra Wijaya - Indonesia
Alan Budikusuma - Indonesia vs Sun Jun - China

Women's Singles
Susi Susanti - Indonesia vs Camilla Martin - Denmark
Ye Zhaoying - China vs Gong Zhichao - China

Men's Doubles
Chandra Wijaya/Sigit Budiarto - Indonesia vs Ricky Subagja/Rexy Mainaky - Indonesia
Cheah Soon Kit/Yap Kim Hock - Malaysia vs Denny Kantono/Antonius Iriantho - Indonesia

Women's Doubles
Qin Yiyuan/Tang Yongshu - China vs Eliza/Rosiana Zelin - Indonesia
Ge Fei/Gu Jun - China vs Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen/Marlene Thomson - Denmark

Mixed Doubles
Tri Kusheryanto/Minarti Timur - Indonesia vs Peter Axelsson/Catrine Bengtsson - Sweden
Michael Sogaard/Rikke Olsen - Denmark vs Thomas Stavngaard/Ann Jorgensen - Denmark

Other results from today's matches:

Men's singles
Group A
Chen Gang - China beat Martin Lundgaard Hansen - Denmark 15-12, 15-6
Group C
Hermawan Susanto - Indonesia beat Soren B. Nielsen - Denmark 15-7, 15-2
Group D Budi Santoso - Indonesia beat Hu Zhilan - China 15-6, 15-5 Men's Doubles
Group A
Tony Gunawan/Rudy Wijaya - Indonesia beat Peter Axelsson/Par-Gunnar Jonsson - Sweden 15-6, 15-12