(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Astrup/ Rasmussen: the unstoppable train
Date: 12/17/2021 9:50 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Europe has not seen a pair on the men’s doubles podium since Mathias Boe/ Carsten Mogensen in 2014. The two in-form pairs on the continent went head-to-head today in the quarterfinals to ensure just that. 

Denmark’s Kim Astrup/ Anders Skaarup Rasmussen faced their neighbours from Germany Mark Lamsfuss/ Marvin Seidel. The pairs have met 10 times with it being 7-3 to the Danes. However, the last two have been tight affairs going to Germany, including the semifinal of the European Championships 2021. Speaking before the match, Rasmussen commented. 

-It is a huge opportunity, but I think they look at it the same way. It’s a 50-50 match. We played well so far, we have been tested in being behind, losing the first game and really getting back. We can take a lot from that. We are ready to go. 

Different journeys 
Lamsfuss/Seidel have had a smoother path through to the quarterfinal. A young Spanish pair of Joan Monroy/ Carlos Piris and Norwegians Torjus Flaatten/ Vegard Rikheim, taking just 59 minutes in total. 

On the other hand, Astrup/ Rasmussen have spent almost double the time on court against the in-form Japanese pair of Akira Koga/ Taichi Saito and the reigning European Champions, Vladimir Ivanov/ Ivan Sozonov, amounting to 114 minutes. 

You cannot stop a moving train
It looked like business as usual in the first game when there was not much between them. Like their previous two encounters against the Danes, Lamsfuss/ Seidel found a way to get over the line, 28-26, setting up an intriguing match. 

But what came next was very different, Astrup/ Rasmussen, as they did against Ivanov/ Sozonov, turned into a steam train. 

-We were really frustrated that we could not get the first game, we struggled and then had three game points that we missed. They had some strong points and some net winners. It motivated us that we did not play our best, but we were still so close. We raised our level and believed that we could roll them over. 

Astrup interrupted Rasmussen saying that the phrase ‘roll them over’ can only be used in Danish. Rasmussen disagreed and further explained while laughing.

-No, because I am like a train, and I keep rolling. You cannot stop a moving train. 

Badminton heritage
Reflecting on the seven-year wait to have a European pair on the men’s doubles podium, Astrup said. 

-I did not know that, and it actually feels better when you say it like that. It’s the heritage from Boe and Mogensen that we have been trying to take over for quite some time and now we are finally on the podium at a World Championships and now we just need an Olympic medal as well, but we’ll try and stay in the moment, Astrup stated. 

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