Nanning: British badminton overcame a daunting Sudirman Cup tie in Nanning China and pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the competition’s history by beating European champions Denmark 3-2 on Monday.
Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith kicked off the mixed doubles match by recovering from a set down to defeat Mathias Christiansen/Sara Thygesen of Denmark 21-15, 20-22, 17-21 match in 77 minutes.
Next up, in a suppose one sided men’s singles match between World No. 3 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark against World No. 65 Toby Penty of England, it turned out to be a competitive game of tug-of-war as Axelsen won the first game 21-11, but went down 13-21 before edging past Penty 21-17 in the decider to draw level for Denmark.
World No. 21 Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark also had to dig deep before giving Denmark a 2-1 lead by beating Chloe Birch 21-11, 18-21, 21-12.
In the fourth match, England’s Rio Olympic bronze medalists and current World No. 17 Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge needed 98 minutes to eventually beat World No. 8 Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 16-21, 21-19, 21-19 to send the tie down to the wire.
England’s World No. 31 Chloe Birch/Lauren Smith became two new British heroines when they beat World No. 19 Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen 21-12, 19-21, 21-11 in 72 minutes to score the third point that sealed the tie for England with 3-2 win over Denmark.