ASIAN GAMES: CHINA, INDONESIA WIN TEAM GOLD MEDALS
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December 11, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - China and Indonesia split top honors
today in the finals of the badminton team competition at the 1998 Asian Games
in Bangkok, Thailand. The Chinese women's team defeated South Korea 3 matches
to 1 to take one gold medal, while the Indonesian men's team captured the
other top prize with a surprisingly easy 4-0 victory over China.
In the early afternoon, world singles champion Ye Zhaoying staked the Chinese
women to a 1-0 lead when she successfully fought off a spirited and determined
effort from Kim Ji Hyun in the opening singles. Kim's play and dogged
retrieving gave the world champion from China some problems, specially in the
second game when Kim battled her to a setting at 10-all. Ye though was able to
overcome Kim in the closing rallies of both games to win 11-9 and 13-11.
World doubles champions Ge Fei and Gu Jun then combined to beat back a strong
performance from Ra Kyung Min and Chung Jae Hee to put China one win away from
the Asian Games gold medal. Ge and Gu defeated the Korean pair 15-13 and
Gong Zhichao finished the Koreans off with an easy medal-clinching 11-4 and
11-1 victory over Lee Joo Hyun in the second singles.
The Koreans took the meaningless second doubles match. Kim Shin Young and
Yim Kyung Jin beat Tang Hetian and singles specialist Zhang Ning 15-11 and
The two teams agreed not to play the third singles match.
The Chinese and Indonesian men's teams played for the other gold medal in the
In the first singles, Hendrawan's shots, particularly his tight-net-shot-and-
smash combinations, were too much for China's Sun Jun to cope with and the
Indonesian player was able to carve out a surprisingly easy win at 15-7 and
Olympic doubles champions Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky then defeated Zhang
Jun and Zhang Wei 15-11 and 15-8.
In the critical second singles, China's Luo Yigang once again failed to come
up with a top-caliber performance. At the semifinals of the Thomas Cup Finals
last May between China and Indonesia, Luo was defeated by Hendrawan also in
the crucial second singles. Today, Luo went down almost without a fight to
Indonesian teenage sensation Taufik Hidayat 6-15 and 5-15.
Hidayat's unexpectedly easy win clinched the men's team title for Indonesia
for its first gold medal of the 1998 Asian Games to the delight of the many
Indonesian supporters in the stands at the Thamassat University Sports Complex
gymnasium. China had to settle for the team silver medal.
In the dead second doubles, Chandra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan of Indonesia
beat Liu Yong and Yu Jinhao 15-0 and 15-11 (scoreline unconfirmed).
By agreement between the teams, the last match - the third singles - was not
South Korea and Malaysia took the bronze medals in the men's team event. In
the women's team competition, Indonesia and Japan were the bronze medalists.
The badminton players have a day off tomorrow. The competition for the
individual medals begins on Sunday with the finals slated for Thursday.
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