Happy April Fools’ Day! – Jonassen given World Champs wild card

The news came in early on Tuesday.  Despite early hints that China’s Lin Dan might get another wild card to participate in the 2014 BWF World Championships, it will be […]

The news came in early on Tuesday.  Despite early hints that China’s Lin Dan might get another to participate in the 2014 BWF , it will be Denmark’s Kenneth Jonassen who will benefit from this invitation from the world governing body at the request of the organizers, Badminton Denmark.

“Kenneth has still been active in the circuit even if he has not participated in many tournaments, and as he now has to focus on his coaching career, we thought it was only fair to give him this opportunity to shine one last time on a badminton court. We owe him that for all the services he has given our nation,” said Charlotte Malmroes, Chair of Badminton Denmark. “We are delighted that the BWF has accepted our request as we believe it was only fair to give to a Dane this time as Lin Dan had benefitted from the wild card in his home World Championships last year,” she added.

The announcement came in as a surprise for many, including Jonassen himself, who had no idea he could benefit from the prestigious invitation – only one spot is given to a player who did not qualify on points.

“I really don’t know what to say. This is a bit surreal and I thought it was a joke when I first heard the news – most people think that I am retired completely from the game. Only a very few people knew that I am still training at the Training Centre with the boys, not only as a , but as a player as one of my main goals this year was the World Senior Championships. But to be given a wild card is an amazing honour,” said the 37-year-old Dane, who stopped playing in events when he joined Badminton England as head coach a few years back, before returning to coach on home soil last summer.

“After all, Poul Erik Hoyer won a gold medal at the Olympics and Jens Eriksen won tournaments when he was close to 40 years old, so, who knows? Maybe with a lucky draw, I could win a medal. But I will mostly play this competition for the fun of it with no expectations,” added Jonassen.

All other players will know whether they have qualified on merit on April 30th, after the India and Singapore Superseries. Denmark could have as many as 3 men’s singles players qualify for the competition, with Jan O Jorgensen ahead of his two compatriots Viktor Axelsen and Hans Kristian Vittinghus. As with Team China last year, the wild card would bring the home team up to the maximum of 4 spots. The event is to be held in Copenhagen from August 25th to 31st this year.

UPDATE – APRIL 2nd.

This was, of course, an April Fool. The BWF has not yet released the name of the beneficiary of the Wild Card. But it will not likely be Kenneth Jonassen even if we, at Badzine, would have loved to see him – or Peter Gade – play in Copenhagen. Sorry folks !

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Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.