Retirement not on veteran Rasmussen’s mind as he dreams of making history

Still going strong: Denmark’s Kim Astrup (left) and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen at training yesterday. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star

DENMARK’S doubles shuttler Anders Skaarup Rasmussen may be 33 but he is not thinking about retirement just yet.

Rasmussen, well known for his flamboyant celebrations on court as well as his skills, is still going strong with partner Kim Astrup and the world No. 9 pair are hoping to be the first Danish pair to lift the men’s doubles title in the Malaysian Open starting tomorrow.

“I have not considered retiring at all. As long as my body’s condition is as good as it is, I’m motivated to keep playing badminton,” said Rasmussen.

“In the last year or so, Kim and I have really improved. We have been playing lots of matches and performing well. So I am happy.”

The Dane, though, did express his hope that the badminton calendar would favour the players more.

Astrup-Rasmussen will be skipping the Singapore Open (July 12-17) and Taiwan Open (July19-24) to give them more time to prepare for the World Championships in Tokyo (Aug 21-28).

“I hope that the schedule next year won’t be as packed as this year,” said Rasmussen.

“With the number of tournaments and scheduling this year, we don’t have much time to prepare for the world meet. So, Kim and I have no choice but to skip some tournaments.”

In the Malaysian Open, Astrup-Rasmussen are preparing for another tough encounter in their opening match against South Korea’s Choi Sol-gyu-Kim Won-ho who stunned them in last week’s Indonesian Open.

“Statistically, the more we play against an opponent, the better we do. So, we feel the match this time is in our favour as we know their game better,” said Rasmussen.

“I’m expecting a full house as I am sure the fans will want to come and support the local players. Malaysia have several good men’s doubles pairs and Lee Zii Jia, who has been performing really well.

“I also hope the fans will enjoy the badminton in general as the tournament has not been staged for two years,” said Rasmussen.

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