Like vintage French wine, Astrup and Rasmussen get better with age

PETALING JAYA: Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen enjoyed a purple patch in the second half of 2023 which saw them win four international titles and the top Danish pair is hopeful of a similar feat this year to secure an Olympic medal in Paris.

Winning the super 1000 China Open in 2018 was Astrup-Rasmussen’s biggest success on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) tour before their bullish run last year where they clinched three super 500 titles – Canada, Hong Kong and Arctic Opens – and the super 750 French Open.

However, their most memorable achievement was clinching the silver medal at the World Championships in front of their own fans in Copenhagen (Aug 21-27).

Rasmussen, 34, said that was the best run of their career and is hopeful it could happen again this year.

“That was our best run on the tour without a doubt. Like vintage French wine, we are playing well as we age and we are hoping to achieve more success in the bigger tournaments this year,” said Rasmussen at the Axiata Arena.

“We had a fantastic season but we stayed humble and look beyond after a win rather than being satisfied.

‘‘That was probably the key to our success.

“Last year, we didn’t have good results in the first six months but we hope to start better this time and obviously our goal is to do well at the Olympics and other tournaments.”

Astrup, 31, said that the exceptional performance last year has raised their confidence level and will be hoping to push for a medal at the Olympics.

“We believe that we have the chance to win a medal at the Olympics,” said Astrup.

“All the top 10 pairs will have the opportunity in Paris but we are among those who can dream about winning a medal at the Olympics and that is going to motivate us for the next six to seven months.”

The newfound confidence was also evident as they advanced to the second round of the Malaysian Open yesterday with a convincing 21-16, 21-10 win over Leo Rolly-Daniel Marthin of Indonesia in 35 minutes.

They will meet Malaysian pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi in the second round tomorrow.

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