Denmark, a country also known as the land of the Vikings. With a population of close to 6 million, Denmark has produced many world-renowned shuttlers since its introduction in 1925.
Some of the well-known players are Marten Fröst, Poul-Erik Høyer, Peter Gade, Tine Rasmussen, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, Jan Ø. Jørgensen, Christinna Pedersen, Mia Blichfeldt, Mathias Boe, Anders Antonsen and Viktor Axelsen are some of the famous singles and doubles players who have dominated the world. Danes have slowly pouched their way into a sport that was controlled by the Asians.
Denmark has won the European mixed team championships a whopping 17 times. In the last 5 years, between Viktor Axelsen & Anders Antonsen, the Danes have triumphed in every major badminton event. Be it BWF Super Series, BWF World Tour, or BWF World Championships, they have won all.
How are Danes able to do this?
To understand this better, we quizzed ex-Indian international and chief coach of two-time PBL champions Bengaluru Raptors, Arvind Bhat. As a player, Arvind spent most of his time on the European circuit. Arvind is also one of those few people who has coached Viktor Axelsen during the Dane's spell with the Bengaluru PBL team.
Arvind said, “Viktor has the best chance to win Gold for Denmark. He’s a hardworking, dedicated player. He yearns for perfection all the time and gets it too! He looks in good shape, having won many tournaments recently, even during the pandemic. Antonsen is still not ready to win gold. He’s a bit weak physically, and his mind is still not ready for the big stage. The reason why Danes do so well in badminton is because of the good badminton culture in the country. It’s the 3rd biggest sport in Denmark. And boasts of lots of former worlds no. 1. Their system and training are very scientific too, unlike the East”.
“The women’s singles and doubles events are all young players and lack the experience to win the Olympics. But watch out for these guys in the next edition,” he concluded.
Yes, we too believe that Denmark has one of the best youth systems in place. They also have many multi-purpose halls built for the public to indulge themselves in some sort of sports. Being a cold country, one spends most of their time with indoor activities, badminton being an indoor sports suites them better.
In comparison to the top badminton nations, the Danish players have had a good match practice, playing all the tournaments since the tournaments restarted after the COVID break. Viktor Axelsen has made the most of this opportunity, winning 3 BWF World Tour Titles. But when it comes to the Olympic games, they have fallen short. Winning only one Gold medal to date. At this Olympics, Denmark will have 6 of their best, representing the country in all 5 categories.
- Viktor Axelsen, World No.2
- Anders Antonsen, World No.3
- Mia Blichfeldt, World No. 12
- Kim Astrup / Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, World No. 12
- Sara Thygesen / Maiken Fruergaard, World No. 16
- Mathias Christiansen / Alexandra Bøje, World No. 17
Will this be the year of reckoning for Danes. Can they go that extra mile? Let’s wait and watch the unfolding tails of Danish deeds of daring-do.