Denmark Nationals 2011 – Easy ‘street’ for Gade

Peter Gade (pictured) claimed a remarkable 10th national men’s singles title in Randers this week and, when all things are considered, the 34-year-old world number 4 was never troubled en […]

Peter Gade (pictured) claimed a remarkable 10th men’s singles title in Randers this week and, when all things are considered, the 34-year-old world number 4 was never troubled en route to lifting the coveted men’s singles title.

Article and images by Mark Phelan (Live in Randers, Denmark)

Gade, whose name when translated to English literally means ‘street’, proved that in terms of men’s singles in Denmark the veteran is still king of the block as he destroyed all in his wake to break Morten Frost’s record to become the most decorated men’s singles national winner in Danish history.

With the withdrawal of Jan O Jorgensen due to injury and with Joachim Persson still recovering from surgery, the gauntlet was certainly thrown down to the next generation to see whether theycould challenge the mighty Gade in Randers this week.

The world number 4 breezed through the early rounds and only for a short spell of about 10 mins in the semi-final match against Hans Kristian Vittinghus did Gade look under pressure, trailing 9-14 in the opening set. But in typical Gade style, he came back to end the nationals dream of Vittinghus and advanced to the final.

Gade’s opponent in the final was Rune Ulsing, who benefited from Jorgensen’s withdrawal at the bottom end of the draw. To be fair to Ulsing, and after his demolition of World Junior Champion Viktor Axelsen in the semi-final, many thought that Gade was in for a tough battle in his quest for the record. But finals are where Gade shines and after finding his feet in the opening set, the veteran just crushed Ulsing in the second set in a thoroughly convincing victory.

“It’s always a mentally tough challenge to go into a tournament when you have got everything to lose and not much to win. However my motivation was to go for my 10th title and by that a new record beating Morten Frost. I managed to do that yesterday and I’m quite proud to win once again and keep the young players behind,” said Peter Gade (Courtesy badminton Denmark).

Likewise, in the women’s singles, Tine Baun (pictured) crushed all before her and never really had to stretch herself o claim her 7th title. With the enforced absence of Nanna Brosolat Jensen and Camilla Sorensen, the task of dethroning Baun was left in the hands of Karina Jorgensen. The tiny Jorgensen  – in comparison to Baun that is – looked very impressive throughout the week and many thought that with some luck she could topple Baun. But it was not to be as the two-time All England champion eased to a 21-14, 21-6 win. All week it was a smiling and buoyant Baun that was seen in Randers which in some ways displays the gulf between her and the rest of the pack as really this was so easy for her and she dominated the women’s singles event much the same way Gade dominated the men’s singles.

In the men’s doubles, the tournament was without the top seeds Boe and Mogensen which left Jonas Rasmussen and Mads Conrad (pictured) shouldering the burden of expectation as top seeds. Their surprise opposition in the finals were Emil Holst and Theis Christiansen (pictured) who had dispensed of number 3 seeds Mikkel Elbjorn and Christain Skovgaard in the semi-final. The Malaysian Open finalists took the opening set with ease but looked troubled in the second set, trailing 7-14 as the pretenders to the throne were able to find a kink in their armour.

But like all top pairings, they were only spurred on by the deficit and Conrad and Rasmussen came charging back with a 21-18 win to take the national title in this their first year as a partnership.

“We missed Boe and Mogensen here this week but I am happy Mads and I handled the pressure of favourites very well and it’s great to be National Champions,” Jonas Rasmussen said afterward (courtesy badminton Denmark).

In the women’s doubles, there was a pressure of expectation leveled on the new Danish pair of Kruse and Ropke after their excellent maiden win in Sweden at the end of February. After beating Helsbol and Skaelbek in the semi-finals, the individually experienced Swedish International champions came up against the youthful Sandra Marie Jensen and Line Kjaersfeldt in the final. Jensen and Kjaersfeldt had come through a semi-final meeting with Juhl and Pedersen so were sure to be up for the big occasion on national TV.

However, it was Kruse and Ropke who dominated and their young opponents had no answers to the power and patience of their national team opponents. Two tournaments played and two victories for Kruse and Ropke and surely this is a pairing that will continue to flourish. But the presence of Jensen and Kjaersfeldt mean that the future generations of Danish women’s doubles is safe.

Finally, the mixed final was between the now vastly experienced Mikkel Delbo Larsen / Mie Schjoett Kristiansen combination and the ‘for one week only’ combination of Mads Pieler Kolding and Marie Helsbol (pictured). Kolding, who was without regular partner Julie Houmann, teamed up with Helsbol for the nationals, which proved to be a somewhat  enlightened decision on their part.

In the longest match on finals day, Kolding and Helsbol lifted the title in three sets to continue the recent trend in Denmark of less than likely winners in the mixed doubles event.

For all results click HERE

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