SAS BADMINTON TROPHY: VAN DIJK WINS THE GOLDEN RACKET
** 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 30, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Jeroen van Dijk of the Netherlands today
captured the Golden Racket award and the expensive motorcycle that was at
stake at the SAS Badminton Trophy men's singles invitational tournament in
Dornbirn, Austria. In the tournament finals held this afternoon, van Dijk beat
Pullela Gopichand of India 15-8 and 15-13.
The van Dijk-Gopichand final was a bit of an anticlimax as the two semifinals
held earlier in the day provided more excitement.
In one of the semifinals, Pullela Gopichand and Wong Choon Hann of Malaysia
engaged each other in a tremendous contest between two players of almost equal
skill. The battle between Gopichand and Wong was decided in three sets, all of
which went to deuce at 13-all. Wong took the first game 18-13 and the Indian
champion won the second 18-14. Like the first two sets, the decider was
nip-and-tuck most of the way with one player scoring and then the other coming
back to tie or to go ahead. Gopichand finally prevailed in a tiebreaker at
5-2 (18-15 in the game).
In the other semifinal, Denmark's Kenneth Jonassen seemed to be on his way to
the championship match as he walloped Jeroen van Dijk in the opener 15-7. The
young Dane could not sustain his game in the second and it was van Dijk's turn
to administer the trouncing as he won at 15-4.
In the decider, Jonassen came out strong and was ahead by several points at
mid-game. After the change of ends, Jonassen built up an even larger lead at
11-5. The more experienced van Dijk though came back on inspired play and on
several Jonassen miscues as the pressure of an elite-level semifinal had its
effect on Jonassen. Van Dijk caught up to Jonassen and was able to close the
Dane out 15-13.
In the afternoon, van Dijk and Gopichand came back on court to contest the
championship. Gopichand who had had the more difficult semifinal did not have
seem to have the game to fight off van Dijk in the first set, which the Dutch
player won 15-8. The Indian champion put up a stiffer fight in the second but
van Dijk was not to be denied victory in the closing moments, taking the game,
match and championship at 15-13.
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