(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
We are ready!
Date: 12/15/2021 6:22 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Following the earth-shattering news that Viktor Axelsen is out of the World Championships, there were no after-shocks in the Danish team as they knuckled down and made their way deeper into the tournament. 

The arena was almost shaking with the noise when Luis Enrique Penalver took on Rasmus Gemke and had game points to win the opener. Rasmus Gemke held on and was able to find his game in the second game, winning 22-20, 21-12. 

A similar atmosphere was witnessed during a Denmark-Japan men’s doubles match. The entertainers Kim Astrup/ Anders Skaarup Rasmussen dispatched the in-form pair of Akira Koga/ Taichi Saito. 

-We are really pleased to win in two, but we can also accept winning in three. We have been looking forward to winning this match, we thought it was a pretty tough draw. We have to find our top-level from the beginning and the venue is suiting us a bit better than I had expected, Rasmussen explained. 

Next up are the reigning European Champions Vladimir Ivanov/ Ivan Sozonov, a pair they have a good record against, but the experienced duo wants revenge for Tokyo. Kim responded simply. 

-They better be ready, because we are. 

Two match points!
In an all-Danish clash, Maiken Fruergaard/ Sara Thygesen had to save two match points against Alexandra Bøje/ Mette Poulsen in the second game to eventually take the win in three. 

Bøje was able to partner up with Mathias Christiansen soon after to win against China’s Guo Xin Wa/ Zhang Shu Xian, but it was a three-game battle in 69 minutes. 

Plenty left
Anders Antonsen is still in his ‘good space’ after a comfortable and controlled win over Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne, who is playing a World Championships an incredible 20 years after his first in 2001, which thoroughly impressed Antonsen upon learning this. 

The silver medallist from 2019 remains focused on the task, and despite Axelsen being out he knows it will not be an easy path to glory. 

-There are plenty of names in the draw and many good players left in. Loh Kean Yew is one of them I would say who defeated Viktor and defeated Kento Momota a few weeks back in Indonesia, so he might be the new favourite. I take every match very seriously and the next one could be against Lee Cheuk Yiu, and I lost to him at the French Open.

Hans-Kristian Vittinghus once again had to come from behind against Kanta Tsuneyama but was able to seal the win and book in his match with Lee Zii Jia. 

-I prefer to beat him (Kanta Tsuneyama) in straight games, but for some reason, I have too much respect for him at the start of the matches. I am a bit afraid of going all out, dying on court…saving some juice for the third game. 

It’s getting close to crunch time at the World Championships. 

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