Badminton

Published: Thursday March 6, 2014 MYT 8:57:00 PM
Updated: Thursday March 6, 2014 MYT 9:45:01 PM

Danish pair hungry for more after scalping defending champs

Denmark's Kim Astrup Sorensen (right)-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen pose for a picture after beating All-England defending champions Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan of China in the doubles event on Thursday.

Denmark's Kim Astrup Sorensen (right)-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen pose for a picture after beating All-England defending champions Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan of China in the doubles event on Thursday.

BIRMINGHAM: Denmark has always been a top men’s doubles nation, with Jens Eriksen-Martin Luudgaard Hansen the more notable stars of the modern game.

The now retired Eriksen-Hansen’s most notable successes are their All-England triumphs in 2004 and 2006. In more recent times, there have been Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen, who have consistently challenged for honours at the highest level.

Now, the young combination of Kim Astrup Sorensen-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen are ready to step up to the plate as the new faces of the Denmark doubles.

The world No. 25, who are the third-ranked Danish pair, behind Boe-Mogensen (No. 4) and Mads Conrad Petersen-Mads Pielder Kolding (No. 22), certainly showed that they have the aptitude for it with a superb performance in the first round of the All-England.

Sorensen-Rasmussen completely destroyed defending champions Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan 21-12, 21-9 to show that they mean business.

“That was our best ever performance. It was frankly the perfect match,” said 21-year-old Sorensen.

“We knew we had a chance of probably taking a game off the Chinese but we didn’t think we could beat them like this.

“But we are not satisfied with just one win ... we definitely want more.”

Unfortunately, the Danish pair were beaten 21-8, 21-8 by South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol in the second round on Thursday.

The 25-year-old Rasmussen added that their main challenge now is to qualify for the World Championships this year, which will be held in their own backyard – Copenhagen.

“We want to move up the rankings and show we mean business. The target is definitely to qualify for the world meet back home,” said Rasmussen.

“To do that, we need to be in the top 24 ... we are at No. 25 now so we’re on the right track.

“We are definitely feeling confident because I’ve never seen Kim play so well, and I’ve never played so well before either.”

With that attitude, it would not be wrong to say that Denmark are certainly doing something right in producing their next top pair.

Tags / Keywords: Kim Astrup Sorensen, Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, badminton, All-England, Liu Xiaolong, Qiu Zihan

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