Tue, 21 Mar 2000

China, South Korea take titles in Swiss Open

JAKARTA (JP): China and South Korea dominated the final matches of the four star Swiss Open in Basel, Switzerland, on Sunday by collecting three and two titles respectively.

China's Xia Xuanze, who surprised badminton lovers by winning the All England men's final last week, crushed teammate Ji Xinpeng 15-8, 15-6 in the all-Chinese final that lasted only 34 minutes. Xia grabbed his second consecutive title of the Grand Prix series this year.

Top seeded compatriot Dai Yun, managed to overcome Gong Ruina in another all-Chinese final to win 11-5, 13-12 in 40 minutes. Dai, runner up in the 1999 World Championships before losing to Dane Camilla Martin, also reached the All England women's final before bowing out to more experienced Gong Zhichao.

Dai became the favorite in the event after Martin decided to pull out at the last minute.

In the men's doubles final, European sole hopes, Danes Jens Eriksen and Jesper Larsen swallowed a bitter pill after being overpowered by top seeds Kim Dong-moon and Ha Tae-kwon of South Korea. The Danish duo bowed out 12-15, 2-15 in 46 minutes.

In the women's doubles final, China proved its domination of the event by placing two pairs in the final. Third seeds Qin Yiyuan and Gao Ling were severely tested in a hard-fought battle against unseeded Huang Nanyan and Yang Wei before finally concluding the match 15-5, 8-15, 15-9 in one hour and 20 minutes.

South Korea showed its talent in the mixed doubles after the All England champions Kim Dong-moon and Ra Kyung-min overcame the hopeful Chinese pair, Zhang Jun and Gao Ling, 15-8, 15-9 in just 35 minutes. (yan)