Peter Gade was beaten in the first round of his last home event – the Yonex Denmark Open in Odense on Wednesday. The Dane was not feeling well but the credit goes to his young opponent – Sourabh Verma of India.
By Raphael Sachetat. Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live)
There was a great deal of emotion in the air, Wednesday night, when what was hoped to be a badminton party, ended up in a badminton nightmare for the home hero, Peter Gade (pictured). The crowd was standing, clapping for a long time, while the two commentators on the live broadcast channel of the event were speechless and retaining their own emotions, as Peter Gade left the stage, one last time.
The Dane was facing a young shuttler whom he had never met, and was expecting a difficult fight as he was not in his best condition, having had a migraine attack just before entering the court. The Indian played very cleverly, very patiently, while Gade was struggling to get his normal game going in spite of the crowd’s support.
Sourabh Verma (pictured) was clearly in the lead throughout the first game – sometimes by a margin of 6 points as he was 17:11 up but Gade fought back to score 5 points in a row to make it 16-17, but Verma was once again too fast and accurate enough to take the first game away, 21-18. The second game didn’t go any better for the home favourite and he had to let go 14-21, not without a fight, but with the best he had on the day.
“I knew there was a risk of this to happen, since my preparation hasn’t been like it would normally be. But I wasn’t feeling that good on court yesterday and Verma made it very difficult for me, playing a clever game.. I came close in getting back into the game at times but Verma kept me away.. I guess I wanted to end my Denmark Open in another way but I guess you cannot control that yourself and have to accept the outcome. No matter what, I want thank the supporters in Odense for a huge support last night and for the support they’ve showed me for many years. I really appreciate that” he wrote on his Facebook wall.
Gade has two more events to play before he officially retires: the Yonex French Open next week in Paris and the “Match” against Lin Dan during the Copenhagen Masters after Christmas.
Denmark’s Hans Kristian Vittinghus was very short of making it up to the local crowd when he came short of edging out 8th seed Kenichi Tago, but the Japanese eventually pulled it off in the same score line in all three sets 21-17, 17-21, 21-17.
Olympic medallists bite the dust
China’s Chen Jin and the duo of Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng were shown an early exit on day two. The Beijing bronze and London gold medallists respectively had different fates in Odense. Chen Jin was taken all the way to a third game to lose to Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon, while the golden duo didn’t finish their game as Cai Yun was injured – they stopped when they were trailing 17-20 against the new pairing from Korea, Yoo Yeon Seong and Shin Baek Cheol.
Denmark’s Boe and Mogensen, meanwhile, were inches away from being sent packing as well but ended up in a three games victory against England’s Ellis and Adcock. Another super match saw the victory of Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong (pictured) over Korea’s other new pairing of Ko Sung Hyun and Lee Yong Dae, 21-19 in the decider. It was a sweet victory for the Malaysians, who had been dominated by Ko in his former partnership with Yoo, while Lee was, of course, half the duo that denied Koo and Tan an Olympic medal this past summer.
Elsewhere, there was no luck for 4th seeds Pedersen/Rytter Juhl as the top Danish women’s doubles pair was beaten in straight games by Indonesia’s Augustin/Maheswari.
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