ODENSE: The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games gold medallist Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen is set to make a more prominent comeback on the international stage – but not as a player.
The Dane is taking a more active role in the administration of the sport and has been nominated to contest for the post of president in the European Badminton Union (EBU).
And Hoyer-Larsen, who is the Badminton Denmark Association (BDA) vice-president, harbours hopes and aspirations for the sport.
“I have also been with our national Olympic Council for the last five years. The administrative experiences have given me courage to take on the challenges in badminton at a higher level,” said the 44-year-old.
“I think, it is very important to focus on how to popularise this game. We are under pressure from the media because other sports are having higher profile than badminton.
“Football and tennis have huge attention and audiences. Currently, we are fighting with table tennis to be the fourth most popular individual sport.
“We need to focus at the international level on how to improve our profile. How do we keep the interest in the sport going? Personalities like Lin Dan is so important to the sport.
“We need personalities. Sometimes, players are too polite. Jan O Jorgensen did a huge celebration after beating Peter-Gade Christensen (during the Denmark Open here). This is what people want to see. There is life in badminton and we need to bring it out and show it.
“Unfortunately, there have been some internal fights. We have to stop that. We have to focus on the development of the sport. That is my focus and it is the only reason that I agreed with the nomination for presidency.”
Another point brought up by Hoyer-Larsen was on the game’s scoring format.
He felt that the current format did not provide great excitement towards the end of the game or even if it did, it lasted for fleeting seconds.
“There needs to be a greater build-up to a finale in a match. The tension should rise and the audience should be kept on the edge of their seats,” he said.
“Maybe, we can shorten the game to nine points in best-of-five games and the first player to reach eight will serve for the winning point. I mean, this is one of the options. We certainly need to look into some changes to make the sport more exciting.”