Badminton

Published: Tuesday May 20, 2014 MYT 9:21:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday May 20, 2014 MYT 9:37:53 PM

No cake walk for Denmark against Japan next

Denmark's scratch doubles pair Joachim Fishcer Nielsen (left) and Carsten Mogensen are expected to deliver one point in the last Group match against Japan on Wednesday. - AFP

Denmark's scratch doubles pair Joachim Fishcer Nielsen (left) and Carsten Mogensen are expected to deliver one point in the last Group match against Japan on Wednesday. - AFP

NEW DELHI: European champions Denmark have had it easy so far but things will be different when they take on Japan in a crucial Group B tie of the Thomas Cup Finals at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium.

And no one knows that more than Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who returned after a one-month break on Tuesday to give Denmark the winning point in a 5-0 whitewash of England.

Vittinghus, who has not played a competitive match since the European Championships last month due to a right heel injury, chalked up a clinical 21-19, 21-18 win over Toby Penty in the second singles.

Vittingus did not play when Denmark opened their campaign with a 4-1 win over Hong Kong on Sunday.

Former world junior champion Viktor Axelsen was fielded for the second singles against Hong Kong but he was beaten in straight games by Nan Wei instead.

World No. 3 Jan Jorgensen defeated Rajiv Ouseph 21-19, 21-17 and Mads Pieler Kolding-Mads Conrard-Petersen overcame Chris Langridge-Peter Mills 21-13, 21-16 before Vittinghus delivered the winner for the Danes.

Denmark will complete their group tie against Japan today in what is an exciting clash between two losing semi-finalists from Wuhan two years ago.

Japan started with a 4-1 win over England on Sunday and cruised to a 5-0 win over Hong Kong yesterday.

The 28-year-old Vittinghus said he was not 100% but needed to play yesterday to get ready for the crucial tie against Japan.

“I needed to get a feel of the game as it will be an important match for us tomorrow. It’s very close between us and Japan in all three singles while we will feel the absence of Mathias Boe (who pulled out of the squad due to a hernia operation) in the doubles.

“Japan have a small advantage in the doubles but we will fight hard for a win, that’s for sure. It’s important for us to win so as not to be drawn against a team like China in the quarter-finals,” said world No. 12 Vittinghus.

Indonesia swatted aside Nigeria 5-0 for their second straight win in Group A and none of the five matches lasted more than 23 minutes.

Tags / Keywords: Hans Kristian Vittinghus, Denmark, badminton, Thomas Cup, Viktor Axelsen

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