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Badminton Europe: 'Pressure on Danes to maintain record'

Denmark's proud record of reaching 10 of 12 Sudirman Cup semifinals is in real jeopardy this year as they are without Peter Gade and Tine Baun.

The two legendary shuttlers have retired and while this leaves a gaping hole in the team, Jan Ø. Jorgensen (pictured) believes they can still pull off a couple of upsets.

Two years ago, the Danes thought they had the perfect chance to finally win the world mixed team championship, but fell 3-0 to China in the final. Twelve years earlier, they also reached the final, only to suffered a similar result against the Chinese.

Former world No. 1 Gade retired from the world of badminton after the last year’s French Open while Baun retired after winning the All-England crown by beating Thai ace Ratchanok Intanon in March.

“It is a different team this year, as Tine and Peter are not here, but despite that fact I believe we have a strong team,” said Jørgensen.

Jørgensen, ranked seventh in the world, will carry the hopes of his country and will have youngster and former World Junior Champion Viktor Axelsen by his side when they do battle with Japan and Singapore in Group D.

Denmark should beat Singapore, but will face a tough encounter with Japan to see who top the group, and avoid a potential meeting with China in the quarterfinals.

Jørgensen might go head-to-head with Japan’s Kenichi Tago, who is ranked fifth in the world. The outcome of this match could well decide the outcome of the tie. The players have faced each other eight times and have won four matches each.

“I have beaten him in our last four matches and hopefully I will be able to continue that streak,” said Jørgensen, who reached the Malaysia Open semifinals in January and the All-England Championships semifinals in March.

The Danes have a good chance of scoring points in the men’s and mixed doubles as they have the world’s first ranked (Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen, European Male Players of the year 2012) and fourth ranked doubles respectively (Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen, Olympic Bronze medal winners).

The Sudirman Cup will commence on Sunday with the group stage. Denmark and Germany are the European teams in Level 1 who will fight for the prestigious trophy in Kuala Lumpur.

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via Badminton Europe

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