Fri, 17 Mar 2000

Top seeded Marlev loses in Swiss Open

JAKARTA (Agencies): Top seeded Marlev Mainaky of Indonesia fell to Rasmus Wengberg of Sweden 11-15, 7-15 in 39 minutes in the men's singles third round of the four-star Swiss Open in Basel, Switzerland, on Thursday.

Unseeded Wengberg, the Swedish Open winner, will now face Dane Niels Christian Kaldau for a place in the last eight.

Malaysian Yong Hock Kin, the 12th seed, was also upset, losing 9-15, 15-3, 14-17 to Swede Martin Hagberg. The latter will challenge eighth seeded Hendrawan of Indonesia.

World Badminton reported Indonesian women's singles Ellen Angelina will fight top seeded Dai Yun of China for a place in the quarterfinals. Dai was forced to three games against unseeded Ella Karachkova before winning 11-2, 6-11, 11-4.

But Ellen's teammate Lidya Djaelawidjaja suffered another nightmare defeat, this time losing to Kelly Morgan of Wales 8-11, 1-11.

In London, AFP reported China, Denmark, Sweden and England have protested to the International Badminton Federation (IBF) about changes in the Olympic seeding date, which they believe will put them at a disadvantage in Sydney in September.

The four countries also claim that the presentation of the sport at the Games will be harmed by separating the qualifying date, at the end of April, from the seeding date, which has been moved to the end of August.

This means that some players will have only three weeks in which to recover from tournament competition before the Olympics, and that some players from Europe and northern China will have to make two long-haul trips to Southeast Asia in July and August to improve their seeding prospects, before traveling to Australia.

"It is totally stupid," said Lars Sologub, the Swede who is Britain's Olympic manager.

"I can't see how the IBF could have allowed this to happen.

"Of course that means some British players will still be traveling early in September, but we didn't just say this is unfair to Europe. We said it's not the best way to present our sport.

"I've spoken to the team managers of the Asian countries, including the Indonesian manager, and they fully agree. This is a serious concern and we don't think it is professional at all."

The IBF's decision to change the date of the seedings after the 1996 Atlanta Olympics was intended to make them better reflect form.

It also ensured that four Far East events -- the Thailand and Indonesian opens in July and the Malaysian and Singapore opens in August -- would not suffer weakened entries at a time when the economic crisis has ravaged the heartland of the sport.

The matter of the date of the seedings was also recently taken up with a letter of concern from the British Olympic Association (BOA), which wishes to make sure the IBF remedies the situation for the 2004 Olympics.