Friday, April 10, 2009


When Anne Hald closed out her duel against Yik Man Wong on her 4th match point, she knew the Danish team wrote a new chapter in the already prosperous history of the dominant powerhouse. The 3-0 clean sweep against the Netherlands appears to be a comfortable win at first sight, but the youngsters from Denmark had to fight to claim the title in the team event.

By Elm Vandervorst, Badzine correspondent. Photos (archives) : Badmintonphoto
Both Denmark and the Netherlands won their semi final almost effortless, so it was difficult to predict who would be triumphant at the end. Was the strength of the Dutch double teams sufficient? Or would the stronger singles of Denmark give them the advantage?

The mixed doubles was scheduled as the final’s first match and therefore all pressure was on the shoulders of Jacco Arends and Selena Piek. But their opponents, the Danish pair Anne Skelbaek / Mads Pedersen, took the best start and the first set 21-12. The second game was much closer but after some crucial slip-up’s from Pedersen, the Dutch pair evened the score 21-19. In the deciding rubber the Danes got back on track and took an early lead which they held during almost the entire set. However at 19-9, Arends and Piek got back into the match and took seven points in a row. Close, but not close enough and after 44 minutes of top badminton Denmark took the third set 21-18.

Danish youngster Emil Holst and Jordy Hilbink from the Netherlands were the next line in the men’s singles. The Dutchman started off very well and was leading all the way until 20-16. At that time Hilbink committed some unforced errors and after saving five game points, Holst took the first set 25-23. And also the second set was a very close one. Both players went to 20-20, but again it was Holst who kept his nerves and finished the contest with 22-20.

With 2-0 behind, all eyes were on Yik Man Wong to keep the title dreams of her home country alive. In the women’s singles match she had to beat her adversary Anne Hald. And Hald took immediate control and never gave Man Wong a chance 21-15. Luckily for the crowd the Dutch shuttler took herself together and the opportunity to prevail. But just like her compatriots she felt short and a few minutes later it was Hald who could celebrate her success with her teammates.

Further one Germany and former titleholder England made it to the semi final and they were both given the bronze medal. As there were only seven groups and first seed Denmark was bye in the quarter final, the three other teams at the last eight were France, Russia and Ukraine. Some players already showed some great form and seem fully prepared for the individual event which is going on at the moment.