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Denmark Sweep both Gold Medals in European Championships

It was double delight for European powerhouses Denmark as they capture both gold medals at the 2008 European Men's and Women's Team Championships in Almere, the Netherlands.

While the Danish men's team were favourites to win the team gold, it was their women who caused the surprise when they overcame hosts the Netherlands 3-1 in the finals, having knocked out top seeds Germany in the semis.

The European Championships also act as a qualifying tournament for the Thomas & Uber Cup Finals, with the top three nations advancing to the main competition in Jakarta, Indonesia in May.

Tine Rasmussen, the world number nine who won the Malaysian Open singles title in January, gave Denmark the lead with a straight-game victory over Judith Meulendijks.

Dutch woman Rachel van Cutsen levelled the match when she beat Danish number two Camilla Soerensen 21-19, 19-21, 23-21.

Denmark took a surprise lead with Kamilla Juhl and Marie Roepke defeating the Dutch doubles pair of Yao Jie and Eefje Muskens 21-12, 21-14 before their third-ranked singles player, Nanna Brosolat, won a three-game clash against Karina De Wit to give victory to the Danes.

Germany beat Scotland in the bronze medal match to join Denmark and the Netherlands in the Uber Cup Finals. Scotland will have to wait until the Asian qualifiers are completed in Vietnam to determine their fate.

If the fourth-placed team in Asia is ranked higher than Scotland at the end of February, they will qualify for the Finals.

In the men's tournament, defending champions Denmark's big guns Peter Gade, Kenneth Jonassen, Jens Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard were too strong for England, winning 3-0 in the final, though both teams qualified for the Thomas Cup Finals.

Jonassen got the ball rolling for Denmark with a 21-7, 21-13 victory over Anthony Clark. Eriksen and Lundgaard then teamed up to beat Anthony Clark and Robert Blair in the doubles before Gade made sure of victory by beating Rajiv Ouseph.

Germany were the other team to reach the Thomas Cup Finals after they beat Poland 3-1 in the third-place play-off.

Denmark and England are expected to provide the biggest challenge to Asian giants China, Indonesia, South Korea and Malaysia in the Thomas Cup Finals.

Malaysia and South Korea are taking part in the Asian qualifiers in February in Ho Chi Minh City and are expected to easily qualify for the Jakarta Finals.

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