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Denmark's big guns eye final clash in Singapore

Written by: Staff

SINGAPORE, June 7 (Reuters) Denmark's leading names in world badminton are eyeing a showdown in the men's final at this week's five-star Singapore Open.

Peter Gade is top seed at the 170,000 dollars event and hoping to break his Singaporean duck at the Indoor Stadium.

Runner-up to Indonesia's Hendrawan in a close 1999 final, world number three Gade is determined to go one better this time round.

''I believe I am playing well now and my performances in Japan (at last month's Thomas Cup) have given me the confidence to do well in Singapore this time,'' he told reporters.

Of his 1999 runner-up spot he said: ''That was a real disappointment. Maybe I will make up for it this time.'' Lurking at the bottom of the 64-man draw, however, is second-seeded compatriot Kenneth Jonassen, the 2004 champion.

''I have always enjoyed playing in Singapore and I have had some great performances here. I hope I can continue,'' he said.

In the women's singles, Dutchwoman Mia Audina is top seed with France's Pi Hongyan, a losing semi-finalist in last week's Indonesian Open in Surabaya, seeded second of the 32 entries.

China's Zhu Lin, who captured the Indonesian crown, and beaten finalist Lu Lan are also likely to feature.

Denmark's Jesper Erikssen and Martin Lungaard are seeded top in the men's doubles ahead of Malaysia's Lee Wan Wah and Chong Tan Fook while in the women's doubles China's Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen are favourites with England's Gail Emms and Donna Kellog seeded second.

Emms teams up with Nathan Robertson to head the mixed doubles with Chinese shuttlers Xie Zhongbo and Zhang Yawen at the bottom of the 32-team draw.

Reuters AY GC1044

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