Badminton Life

Danes Fly Flag for Europeans

Denmark have always been Europe's flag-carrier when it comes to badminton. And sure enough, it was a Danish pair who were able to break the stranglehold on Asia's dominance at last week's BWF World Super Series Masters Finals in Kota Kinabalu.

Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter were the Danish heroes as they lifted the mixed doubles title, beating Indonesia's top seeds Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir in the final.

The second-seeded Danes had to fight tooth and nail to finally emerge 21-19, 18-21, 22-20 in probably the best final of the whole tournament.

They shared the spotlight with Malaysia, who won three titles, and Hong Kong, which provided the winner of the women's singles tournament.

However, the final was not the only place they had to fight hard. Their whole tournament was a battle with each of their three group games going the full distance of three games.

Playing in Group B, Laybourn and Rytter dropped the first game against England's Anthony Clark and Donna Kellog before winning 13-21, 21-16, 21-15.

They then had a tough 21-12, 18-21, 21-17 victory against Thailand's Songphon Anugritayawon and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul.

The Danes rounded off their preliminary group by beating Malaysia's Lim Khim Wah and Wong Pei Tty 20-22, 21-18, 21-15.

Their final opponents, Nova and Liliyana, emerged from Group A, where they also had a tough time needing three games in two of their matches.

Their easiest match was a 21-9, 21-7 victory over the English-Scottish pair of Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier.

However, against Thailand's fifth seeds Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Youngthongkam, they were stretched before winning 21-16, 15-21, 21-1. Their last group game was a 21-13, 18-21, 21-12 victory over another Indonesian team, seventh seeds Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa.

In the semi-finals, Nova and Liliyana defeated third-seeded Clark and Kellog 23-21, 21-17. The English pair have only recently came together and showed the world they have a bright future that could possibly match Clark's previous partnership with Gail Emms.

Laybourn and Rytter had a rare two-game match in their semi-final, beating Thailand's fifth-seeded pair of Sudket and Saralee.

The Masters Finals brings the curtain down on the 2008 season, in which major reforms swept through the world governing body. The sport also enjoyed popular support at the Beijing Olympics in August, when Chinese players won three of the five gold medals on offer.

Return from Danes Fly Flag for Europeans to Badminton News & Videos

Return from Danes Fly Flag for Europeans to Badminton Information

Badminton Life
Join Our Free Training Tips Newsletter

Get 2 Training Videos and The Singles Tactics E-Book For Free!

Join the Badminton Life Newsletter and get 2 free sample videos from The Essentials of Badminton Technique and a free E-Book on Singles Tactics!

Badminton Life