THAI OPEN: CHEN GANG DUMPS RASHID
** This NEW SHUTTLENWS REPORT is presented by badminton world champions
YANG YANG (1987 and 1989) and ZHAO JIAN HUA (1991) and by
YANG YANG BADMINTON PRODUCTS **
November 15, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The quickness, energy and stamina of the
young served former world junior champion Chen Gang well today in his men's
singles semifinal match against the 29-year old Malaysian veteran Rashid Sidek
at the Thailand Open in Bangkok. Chen, one of China's youthful talents,
trounced the tenth-seeded Sidek 15-4 and 15-2 to move into tomorrow's
championship match where he will face Indonesia's Hendrawan.
Chen surprisingly dominated Sidek today. The Malaysia who had claimed the
scalp of top seed and 1995 world champion Heryanto Arbi on Thursday was not
at all effective against the youthful Chinese player.
The match was close only in the opening moments. Chen soon started to control
the rallies in the first game and quickly built up an insurmountable lead at
12-4. The Chinese player did not let up in his play and easily won the opener
Sidek continued to be ineffective and a step too slow in the second. Chen
raced to a 10-0 advantage before Sidek was able to score a point. Chen then
fought off a resurgent Sidek's desperate attack and outscored the Malaysian
5-1 in the closing moments to win at 15-2.
In the other men's singles semifinal, eleventh pick Hendrawan upset the
fourth-seeded Luo Yigang of China in an hour-long match. Luo had taken the
opener 15-9 and seemed to be on his way to the championship match, but
Hendrawan had other ideas. The Indonesian fought back and battled to tie up
the match with a second game win at 15-10.
The rallies in the first two games seemed to have sapped Luo and he faded in
the decider. Hendrawan was able to pull away and win at 15-6.
The women's singles semifinals both resulted in upsets. The third-seeded Mia
Audina of Indonesia was defeated by China's Zeng Yaqiong 6-11 and 10-12, and
the fourth-seed, Kim Ji Hyun of Korea, fell to Wang Chen 4-11 and 5-11. The
two Chinese players are unseeded at the tournament but are both among the top
20 women's singles players in the world.
In the women's doubles semifinals, top seeds Qin Yiyuan and Tang Yongshu of
China beat Indarti Isolina and Denyana Lomban of Indonesia 15-11 and 15-5,
while third picks Eliza Nathanael and Resiana Zelin of Indonesia put out the
second seeds Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen of Denmark 17-14 and 15-8.
In one of the men's doubles semifinals, world champions Sigit Budiarto and
Chandra Wijaya of Indonesia battled with Olympic champions and teammates Rexy
Mainaky and Ricky Subagja. The two pairs struggled over three games with many
crowd-pleasing and thrilling series of smash attacks and superquick drive
exchanges. In the end, though, youth once again prevailed today with Budiarto
and Wijaya coming out on top 15-8, 10-15 and 15-8.
Koreans Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yung Sung won the other men's doubles semifinal.
Lee and Yoo defeated Indonesia's number three pair, Antonius Irianto and Denny
Kantono, 15-13 and 15-8.
After the men's doubles semifinals had been settled, two Danish pairs tangled
before a rapidly thinning audience to decide the mixed doubles championship.
In a surprisingly quick and easy final, third picks Michael Sogaard and Rikke
Olsen defeated the top-seeded duo of Jens Eriksen and Marlene Thomsen 15-5 and
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