ALL-ENGLAND OPEN: DONG DEFEATS HOYER IN SEMIS
by Mike Grossman and Martin Coe
** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is sponsored by YANG YANG BADMINTON EQUIPMENT
and their UK agents, SUNRISE SPORTS (07050-182838/fax:07050-183838). **
March 14, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - In a rematch of the Atlanta Olympic Games
badminton men's singles gold medal match, Dong Jiong of China, the silver
medalist, today reversed the results when he defeated the gold medal winner,
Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen of Denmark, in one of the semfinal matches at the
All-England Open in Birmingham, England.
Dong got ahead of Hoyer-Larsen early in the first game 3-0 on two errors
by the Dane and a scoring smash. Hoyer came back and pulled even 4-all
when he induced Dong into a net error.
Dong pulled ahead again 6-4 on Hoyer errors, and again the Dane came back
to tie 6-6 when he smashed a poorly lifted shot by Dong.
Errors continued to plague Hoyer and Dong regained the lead 8-6.
Dong then smoked a smash into Hoyer's body to add to his score. Another
net error by Hoyer put the score at 10-6. The next rally ended when Dong
wrongfooted Hoyer with a deceptive net shot that the Dane returned into
Dong increased his lead to 12-6 when Hoyer induced him into an extremely
short lift which Hoyer inexplicably smashed into net. A backhand drive
from Hoyer that went astray put the score at 13-6.
The Olympic champion did not fade away at this point. He induced Dong
into several errors to creep back 8-13. However, Hoyer's erratic play
resurfaced, giving Dong game point 14-8 with a crosscourt net shot that
went wide and then the game winner 15-8 with a sliced halfsmash that went
out of bounds.
The Dane started the second game seemingly determined to win. He opened
up the scoring with a crosscourt halfsmash and after a series of scoring
exchamges had the lead at 7-5 mainly on errors by Dong.
At this point, Dong came back, inducing a long clear from Hoyer and then
tying up the game 7-all with a crosscourt jumpsmash to the sideline. Dong
then went on a scoring run to reach 12-7 on a net kill off an indecisive
drive by Hoyer, a crosscourt smashing error, a clear that Hoyer misjudged
and which landed inbounds, a Dong jumpsmash, and another error by the Dane.
Hoyer mounted a short comeback to reach 10 as he tightened up his net game
and his spinners scored or forced Dong into a poor shot.
Dong got the serve back and Hoyer again misjudged the drift as he allowed
a very high serve to land in, letting Dong reach the all-important 13th point.
Dong got to match point when he pressured Hoyer with fast play into sending
a backhand drive into the net.
Hoyer saved match point with determined play, ending the rally with a smash.
However, he was not able to convert on his serve. Instead it was Dong who
tallied a marker with a powerful smash from close to midcourt to take the
In the other men's singles semifinal, Sun Jun of China put out world
champion Heryanto Arbi 15-10 and 15-11.
Both players started tentatively. The two exchanged points in the early part
of the first game. Arbi got his spinning net shots going and induced
smashable lifts from Sun for his scores. Sun used his speed and quickness
as well as some clever anticipation to counter Arbi's shots. He moved Arbi
around the court to create his scoring chances - mainly kills at the net
off poor Arbi returns and induced errors from the Indonesian.
It was Arbi who pulled ahead after a 6-all tie with net spinners and smashes.
Arbi led 9-6 and then 10-7. Sun crept back 8-10 when he got Arbi to lift long.
He then scored with a smash and then tied the game up at 10-all with a net
kill after he and Arbi exchanged net spinners.
Sun then tallied the next five points to claim the first game 15-10, mainly
on errors by Arbi.
Sun took an early lead in the second 4-0 on Arbi errors, a dropshot that
surprised Arbi, a smash that Arbi blocked to the net and an Arbi smash into
the net. Arbi came back with killshots and crosscourt smashes to set the
score at 4-5, Sun still ahead.
Sun then jumped out to a 9-4 lead on several Arbi wide shots and a tight
Arbi again came back and caught up at 9-all with scoring smashes and drives.
He took a lead 10-9 after a rally that ended when Sun's crosscourt clear
went wide. After an exchange of serves, Arbi scored with rallying play in
which he killed two Sun Jun shots at the net, first when he induced Sun into
a poor return and second when Sun somehow got his racket on the killed
shuttle and stroked it back into play at the net.
Sun tied the game at 11-all whe he moved Arbi around the court with his
shots and induced a short backhand clear which he then punched with a sliced
halfsmash. After an exchange of serves, Sun tallied his twelfth with a drop
shot, then his thirteenth when he pressured Arbi into a wide net shot.
Sun reached match point 14-11 when he induced a long lift from Arbi. Arbi
fought back with a smash to Sun's body to stay alive. Sun though got the
serve back with a crosscourt halfsmash.
Sun then served for the match. He engaged Arbi in a fast flat exchange that
ended when a pressured Arbi drove a return wide.
The Dong and Sun semifinal victories set up one of two all-China finals
tomorrow. The other all-China final will be between second-seed Gong Zhichao
and world champion Ye Zhaoying in the women's singles.
Gong easliy disposed of a hurting Ra Kyung Min of Korea, who was nursing an
injury to her right thigh as well as her knee. Gong's running, all-court
game was difficult for the injured Korean to cope with and Gong ran away
with the match 11-3 and 11-2.
Ye had a more difficult time with her lefthanded teammate Dai Yun. Ye seemed
to be on easy street with an 11-3 first game win. The second was a different
affair as the lefthander buckled down while Ye seemed to lose her focus. Dai
took the second 11-5.
In the decider, the world champion began to move quicker around her half
of the court and also made Dai work for her shots more. Ye took the third
In the men's doubles semifinals, Jon Holst-Christensen and Michael Sogaard
of Denmark delighted the Danes and the English fans in the stands when they
surprised the second-seeds Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock of Malaysia.
The Danes however had a poor start. They came into court several minutes
after the Malaysians had started to warm up. Playing sluggishy and stiffly,
they allowed the Malaysians a 5-0 early lead.
They then came back to score 3 on Malaysian errors as they began to time
the speed and power of the Malaysian smashes and as they started to defend
extremely well, digging shots barely an inch from the floor and flicking
blocks up into the backcourt or flat into the net area.
The Danish and Malaysian defenses were both of the highest standard and the
rallies and flurries of smash attacks, incredible blink-of-an-eye blocks, and
exchanges of attacks were plentiful.
Holst and Sogaard tied the game at 6-all with a series of smash attacks and
then took the lead with a Sogaard net shot. The two pairs exhanged points
to reach 8-all.
The Danes tallied the next point after a furious rally that saw Sogaard
exceute several miraculous saves and the a frustrated Cheah ended with a
smash to the net. The game belonged to the Danes after that rally as they
scored the next 7 points, the last one on a surprise drop shot that Holst
struck after a furious rally of smashes and blocks.
The second was more of the same - many series of furious smash-block-smash
rallies. However, it was the Malaysians who made the less errors in this
game, taking it at 15-12 on a net kill by Cheah.
The early part of the decider was closely fought with both pairs exchanging
points to a 6-6 tie. The Danes got a nose ahead 7-6 after another furious
rally that had the audience amazed by the tremendous reflexes of both pairs.
The Danes extended their lead to 11-6 on a lift that Yap misjudged, a Holst
net kill that ticked the top of the net, a Holst short serve that Yap let
land in, and a lift-block error bu Cheah.
Cheah and Yap got some points back on errors by Sogaard and two Yap net
kills. The score then stood at 10-11. After exchanging serves, the Danes
tallied the next point when Yap blocked a Sogaard smash to the net.
After the Danish pair scored again, the Malaysians grabbed the serve back
and then scored on a Cheah smash 11-13. That was all for the Malaysians.
Holst and Sogaard battled back to get the service then got to match point
when Yap mishit a clip dropshot in the midst of another furious rally and
landed the shuttle wide.
The Malaysians saved match point when under extreme pressure from a
Danish smash attack, Cheah driveblocked the shuttle and ticked the top
of the net. After several scoreless exchanges of serves, the Danes got
their smash attack into gear with Sogaard providing the firepower from
the backcourt and with Holst ending the Malaysian agony with a net kill
off a short Malaysian block.
In the other men's doubles semifinal, the top seeds Sigit Budiarto and
Chandra Wijaya were eliminated by the 5/8 seeded Koreans Ha Tae Kwon and
Kang Kyung Jin. The combination of the tall Ha with his long reach and
steeply angled smashes and kills and the lefthanded Kang with his jump
smashes proved too much for the young Indonesians. Ha and Kang defeated
Sigit and Wijaya 15-11 and 15-7.
In the women's doubles semifinals, the number one and number two seeds
both prevailed. Top seeded Ge Fei and Gu Jun of China easlily beat the
5/8 seeds from Denmark, Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen, 15-3 and 15-6,
while second seeds Eliza Nathanael and Resiana Zelin of Indonesia dispatched
Huang Nanyan and Liu Zhong of China 15-12 and 15-8.
In the mixed doubles semifinals, top seeds Tri Kusheryanto and Minarti Timur
of Indonesia were taken to a third game by Chen Xingdong and Gu Jun of China,
but the tricky (deceptive) Tri was too much for Chen and Gu to handle in the
decider. The Indonesians won 15-11, 12-15 and 15-2.
Facing the Indonesians in the finals will be 5/8 seeds Liu Yong and Ge Fei
of China who easily beat the experienced English doubles player Chris Hunt
and his 19-year old rookie partner, Donna Kellogg. The score in the Liu/Ge
versus Hunt/Kellogg semifinal was 15-6 and 15-4.
COPYRIGHT 1997 by NEW SHUTTLENWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.