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Han, Van Heiland Lose Opening Matches

July 25, 1996

ATLANTA (AP) _ Both American entries in the Olympic singles badminton tournaments lost their opening-round matches.

Peter Knowles of Britain rallied to beat Kevin Han of Colorado Springs, Colo., 2-15, 15-10, 15-7 on Wednesday.

Erika Van Heiland, also of Colorado Springs, was eliminated on the women’s side. Taiwan’s Jeng Shwu-zen defeated her 11-6, 11-2 in 20 minutes.

The Olympic badminton tournament began with men’s and women’s singles in a single-elimination tournament.

Han, a top junior badminton player in China before he emigrated to the United States almost seven years ago, felt he could have beaten Knowles.

``I played him last year and felt that I had a better chance of beating him this time, even though I am ranked 65 and he is ranked 26,″ Han said.

In other men’s action, Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen of Denmark opened with an easy 15-2, 15-2 victory over Kayode Akinsanya of Nigeria.

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