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WORLD MASTERS GAMES: YANG YANG, ZHAO KAPOW SIGN UP
April 20, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Yang Yang of China, the only player to have
won badminton's men's singles world championship twice (1987 and 1989), and
compatriot Zhao Jian Hua, the world champion in 1991, have put in their entry
forms for the badminton competition at the 1998 World Masters Games. The
Games, which are being held in Portland, Oregon in the United States of
America in mid-August, are the equivalent of the Olympic Games for those aged
30 and over, and are held once every four years.
The 34-year old Yang Yang and the 33-year old Zhao, nicknamed Zhao Kapow for
his explosive jumpsmash, have entered to play in the elite division of the 30+
age group. The former world champions will be competing in their specialty,
the men's singles, and will also be pairing up to try to capture top honors in
the men's doubles event.
According to Don Boje, the Games commissioner for badminton, other top-rated
entries to date include Ximing Yao, a member of one of China's Thomas Cup
champion teams, Andy Chong (Chong Weng Kai), a former Malaysian national team
player and the current US men's and mixed doubles champion, and Ignatius
Rusli, a highly-ranked Indonesian junior player in his youth.
The Games badminton commissioner also indicated that Ardy Wiranata of
Indonesia, the 1992 Olympic Games silver medalist in men's singles and a
world championships runner-up to Yang Yang in 1989, may be participating at
the World Masters Games. Wiranata is currently in the process of moving to
Colorado Springs where he will be studying Physical Education as well as
coaching the U.S. national badminton development team. The 28-year old Ardy
though may be underage for the actual World Masters Games competition, but
Mr. Boje hopes to have Ardy present at the Games in one capacity or another.
Less-skilled players do not have to worry about clashing with any of these
top-caliber athletes, because the badminton competition as well as the 24
other sports at the Games are divided into two categories - elite for the
international, national and top regional competitors, and competitive for the
lower-rated competitors and for social and recreational players. World Masters
Games individual competition is also split into 5-year age groups starting
from age 30 to age 70 and up. Team competition is categorized in 10-year age
groups starting from age 30.
The 1998 World Masters Games opens in Portland on August 9. The individual
badminton competition will be from August 17 to 20 at the 9-court Multnomah
Athletic Club in Portland and at the 18-court Tualatin Hills Recreation Center
in Beaverton. The team competition will be held August 21 and 22. The deadline
for entries to the 1998 World Masters Games is May 31.
(More information about the 1998 World Masters Games may be found on
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