COPENHAGEN: Former Denmark great Peter Gade-Christensen is longing to see new names rock the men’s singles scene since he left the game one-and-a-half years ago.
“I had high hopes of seeing new high-profile stars but it hasn’t happened yet. The men’s singles seems to be still in a transition stage,” said the 37-year-old Gade-Christensen, who won a bronze medal when he made his debut at the World Championships in Copenhagen in 1999.
“Apart from Lee Chong Wei and China’s Chen Long, we have a huge group of players beating each other ... with Jan O Jorgensen and Kenichi Tago moving forward a little.
“I wish others would move forward as well. We need to see the stars of the future stepping up.
“As a Dane, I’m happy to see Viktor Axelsen stepping up ... it’s good for Danish badminton and the world too. It is also good to see Tommy Sugiarto (of Indonesia) coming out of his shell.”
During his playing days, Gade-Christensen was acknowledged as one of the four kings – with the others being Chong Wei, China’s Lin Dan and Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat. Their intense rivalry resulted in fantastic match-ups and mouth-watering duels.
Of the four, Gade-Christensen and Chong Wei have not tasted the joys of being a world champion.
“Sometimes, that’s how it is. I did not win a world title ... but I have not regrets. Chong Wei has a chance to win it here – and, if he does, he deserves it,” said Gade-Christensen, whose best outing was finishing runner-up to Indonesia’s Hendrawan at the 2001 edition in Seville.