Jorgensen looking to win in Dubai

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Jan O Jorgensen.

Jorgensen, 28, has more than made up for flopping at the Rio 2016 Olympics by helping Denmark to an opening triumph in the prestigious Thomas Cup and becoming the first non-Asian to lift the China Open. These triumphs saw him top the Destination Dubai rankings for the elite season-ending competition, where he opens this morning at Hamdan Sports Complex versus Hong Kong’s Hu Yun in the men’s singles.

He said: “These Finals have been going on for quite awhile and [iconic retired countrymen] Peter Gade has won it when it was called the World Badminton Grand Prix Finals, so to be honest the Thomas Cup was a bigger achievement from a Danish point of view as we’d never won it.

“China as well, because it is like a legendary tournament to win from a non-Asian. I am really proud to have won these tournaments.

“But of course this is the best of the best. You really want to do well here as well, so it will be a big achievement to win this one.”

Danish sport is traditionally associated with football, where the likes of the Laudrup brothers – Michael and Brian – became global stars.

Although a fan of the national pastime, Jorgensen, unsurprisingly, admits his idol found success with a shuttlecock.

He said: “I played soccer as a young kid and of course, these [Laudrups] were the guys. But with badminton, it was Peter Gade.

“I am so proud to have played against him and practiced with him. He was the role model.”

Former World No1 Gade is just one in a long list of standout Danish players, making the country Europe’s hotbed.

“Culture,” he replied when asked what caused this production line.  “I think we have a club system which is working and we need to keep polishing it.

“I came in as a young kid at 16 into the National Centre. Peter [Gade] was there and Kenneth Jonassen, top five players in the world.

“We have three players now in and around the top 10, so you can see how it is done.”

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IN PICS: Long, Marin and Sindhu clinch top BWF awards

Sport360 staff 13/12/2016

The Golden Shuttle awards for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games champions went to Carolina Marin of Spain [Women’s Singles], Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi of Japan [Women’s Doubles] and Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia [Mixed Doubles] and Chen Long of China [Men’s Singles].

Long’s coach, Xia Xuanze, accepted the award for his charge, while Liu Yuchen and Li Junhui of China collected the Golden Shuttle Men’s Double awards for their compatriots; Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan.

The Female Para-Badminton Player of the Year winner, Karin Suter-Erath of Switzerland, was unable to attend last night’s function and will receive her prize at next season’s Swiss Open tournament.

The male equivalent was snapped up by Lucas Mazur of France while Woon Khe Wei and Viktor Axelsen picked up best dressed awards. Male Player of the Year went to Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei and Most Promising Player of the Year was picked up by Chen Qingchen of China. The prizes were handed out by BWF Deputy President Gustavo Salazar Delgado and His Excellency Dawood Al Hajri, President, UAE Table Tennis and Badminton Association, who gave India’s PV Sindhu the inaugural BWF Most Improved Player of the Year gong.

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Dubai World Superseries finals: Changes in line-up

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Chen Long and his Chinese team-mates, Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan, have declined their Olympic Games wild-card entries into the Dubai World Superseries Finals.

In Long’s place, Hong Kong has accepted an invitation for Hu Yun to compete in Men’s Singles in the season-ending tournament which starts on Wednesday at Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.

Fu and Zhang will be replaced by their younger compatriots, Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen, in the Men’s Doubles event.

There is also a change in Women’s Doubles as Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii have withdrawn due to Maheswari’s knee surgery.

Their place has been taken by Malaysian duo, Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei, who were next on the list of eligible qualifiers in the Destination Dubai Rankings.

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