Viktor Axelsen and Denmark ready to defend Thomas Cup title

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Viktor Axelsen and Denmark team win the 2016 Thomas Cup. (photo: AFP)
Viktor Axelsen and Denmark team win the 2016 Thomas Cup. (photo: AFP)

Copenhagen: The Demark men’s badminton team is ready to defend the Thomas Cup title they won two years ago in Bangkok next week.

The Denmark team has departed for the 2018 Thomas and Uber Cup finals in Bangkok on Wednesday morning.

This year, the Danes will try to defend the title once again without their men’s doubles specialists Carsten Mogensen. In the 2016 edition, Denmark defeated Indonesia 3-2 in the final without Mogensen because he was recovering from an emergency surgery to treat the aortic aneurysm rupture in his brain.

Denmark’s head coach, Kenneth Jonassen was confident with his team’s ability to win the Thomas Cup for the second time in Denmark history. The Denmark team is much more mature than two years ago, but it is also the team to beat in the biennial event.

“We will do everything we can to defend the title, but there are many teams that have strong line-up. I do not want to say that we are one of the favorites, but we have proven that we can win, so we do have a chance,” said Kenneth Jonassen, who also pointed out China, Indonesia and Japan as the other three major challengers to Denmark’s bid to defend the Thomas Cup title.

“Our players must be well prepared in all matches. It’s definitely sad that Carsten Mogensen couldn’t join us, but I am confident we can go far in Bangkok,” added Jonassen.

The strongest position for Denmark in the tournament would be the first men’s singles, where World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen who just recovered from an ankle surgery is expected to bring his strong form to Bangkok.

“It is absolutely the goal that Viktor would return to his competitive level in the Thomas Cup Finals. He has been looking good during the training, and has been preparing to meet the world’s best,” said Jonassen.

As for Viktor Axelsen himself, he also looked forward to play on the badminton court against other top players in the world.

“I have been feeling good feeling after winning the European championships title, so I am looking forward to meeting other top players. It’s always good to play for the Danish national team, so hopefully I can give my best to the country,” said Axelsen.

The Danes will play their first tie next Monday, May 21 against Algeria. Then Russia and will play Malaysia on May 23.

Below is the list of players for the Denmark Thomas Cup Team:

Viktor Axelsen
Anders Antonsen
Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus
Jan Ø. Jørgensen
Mathias Boe
Mads Conrad-Petersen
Mads Pieler Kolding
Kim Astrup
Mathias Christiansen
Anders Skaarup (replacing Carsten Mogensen)

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