GRAND PRIX FINALS: RICKY-REXY TOO MUCH FOR CHEAH-YAP TODAY
Sogaard and Olsen Prevail in Mixed
by Mike Grossman (from a report filed by Deo and Mary Fontanilla)
December 8, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - Olympic badminton men's doubles
gold medalists Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky of Indonesia overwhelmed
their Malaysian archrivals and Olympic silver medalists Cheah Soon Kit
and Yap Kim Hock in today's championship match at the World Grand Prix
Finals in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
The Indonesians were too quick on offense and defense today. They grabbed
an early, untouchable lead in the first game against an off-form Cheah-Yap
combination and reached game point quickly at 14-4.
After Ricky and Rexy had taken the first game 15-4, the Malaysians
tried to stage a comeback in the second. But, unlike their previous
encounter in the round-robin stage where Cheah and Yap took advantage
of a tiring Rexy Mainaky and were able to race away to an early 10-0
lead, the Indonesians were just as quick as in the first game and
kept the match under control to win 15-9.
The match did not live up to the standard of play that the two pairs had
set in their Olympic gold medal match, rated by many who have seen it as
one of the best ever played, or even their round-robin match earlier in
the tourney which was decided in a setting or overtime in the third game.
In an exciting mixed doubles finale, the Grand Prix top-rated pair of
Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen from Denmark beat back the strong challenge
from Tri Kusheryanto and Minarti Timur of Indonesia, currently ranked first
in the world.
The two mixed pairs battled it out in a match that featured many long and
exciting rallies, with Kusheryanto darting all over the court and hitting
his favorite deceptive jumping strokes and attacking at the net whenever he
could. Sogaard did his part to more than counter Kusheryanto with smart
tactical play and his all-court coverage on defense as well as his fast
crosscourt drives and powerful point-scoring smashes.
Sogaard was ably supported at the net and on defense by the tallish Rikke
Olsen and the Danish pair took both games 15-10 and 15-11 to claim the
World Grand Prix Finals mixed doubles crown for Denmark and for themselves.
In the women's doubles finals, Olympic gold medalists Ge Fei and Gu Jun of
China gave Eliza and Rosiana Zelin of Indonesia a sound beating 15-4 and
In another development, Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen of Denmark was declared
the male badminton personality of 1996 by STAR-TV, the prime telecaster
of the Grand Prix circuit. Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China were declared joint
female badminton personalities of 1996.
COPYRIGHT 1996 NEW SHUTTLENWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.