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ASIAN BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS: CHINA TAKES THREE TITLES, KOREA TWO
September 5, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Badminton powerhouse China captured three
of the five titles at stake on finals day today at the 1998 Asian Badminton
Championships in Bangkok, Thailand. Korea took the other two, while Indonesia,
another Asian badminton power, went home without a single championship.
Malaysia which normally provides a strong challenge in the men's singles and
doubles events did not figure in the later stages of the competition. The
Malaysians had kept their best players home in preparation for the upcoming
Commonwealth Games scheduled for Kuala Lumpur next week.
China's 1998 Asian champions were led by Chen Gang who took the men's singles
title. Chen defeated Marleve Mainaky of Indonesia in today's championship
match. He took advantage of Mainaky's erratic play to win the first game 15-6.
In the second set, Mainaky went on the attack and surged to an early 7-1 lead.
Chen came back with three scores but Mainaky countered with two more points
and was ahead 9-4 before falling victim once again to erratic play. Chen then
pulled even and went on to win 15-9.
World champion Ye Zhaoying took the women's singles crown. She beat teammate
Gong Zhichao 11-5 and 13-12 in an all-China final.
Ge Fei and Gu Jun added the 1998 Asian women's doubles title to their
collection of championships which includes gold medals at the 1996 Olympic and
the 1997 world championships. Ge and Gu defeated teammates Qin Yiyuan and Tang
Hetian (Yongshu) 15-8 and 15-7 in another all-China final.
Korean players Ha Tae-kwon, Kang Kyung-jin, Kim Dong-moon and Ra Kyung-min
prevented a Chinese sweep by taking the men's doubles and mixed doubles
titles. Ha and Kang defeated Zhang Jun and Zhang Wei in a three-game men's
doubles thriller of a final 12-15, 15-11 and 15-13, while Kim and Ra's attack
and teamwork overwhelmed the makeshift pair of Sun Jun and Ge Fei in the
mixed doubles championship match 15-7 and 15-8.
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