Posted on 8th October 2023
By RJ Mitchell
IN a memorable finale to the 2023 Scottish Open, match 199 of this year’s tournament produced a superb Men’s Doubles final which gave us our third Danish title winners of the day.
Victory went to Daniel Lundgaard and Mads Vestergaard who defeated Andreas Sondergaard and Jesper Toft 21-15, 11-21, 21-15 to claim the third International Challenge title of their careers.
Reflecting on just why there was such Danish dominance, with the men’s singles and mixed doubles championship also heading back to Scandinavia, Daniel had no doubt why Danish badminton, when it comes to Europe at least, is probably the best in the world!
He shared: “I think a lot has to do with the system we have in Denmark, especially with a lot of kids playing for fun and behind football and handball badminton is the third most popular sport in our country.
“We also have excellent facilities and good coaches. Plus we are really lucky with the depth we have in Denmark and we train with Kim Astrup and Andreas Skaarup Rasmussen (recent world championship runners-up) and so we have players of the very highest level and when you get to train with these guys regularly it definitely improves you.
“For me the system in Denmark, and then with all the good players, also makes the youngsters better and that is why we are so strong and why we will continue to be strong.”
When it comes to the difference two words will suffice and these are: error count.
In the clutch moments Lundgaard and Vestergaard remained more solid and perhaps also played the percentages that bit better.
With the badminton at times mesmeric at other moments rhythm was at a premium but in the end the new Scottish Open champions were good value for their victory and earned it with something to spare.
For Mads, tonight’s triumph at the Emirates was made even sweeter by the fact it came after a Danish derby and he said: “It is nice to get the win and the points are great but obviously we train with Jesper and Andreas and we know them so well and it is extra special to beat your countrymen for a title – it definitely adds value!
“We have won three of the International Challenge tournaments now having won in Poland and Mexico and now the Scottish and we are very proud to have won such an historic tournament.
“Now it is time for us to try and use this win as a platform to the next level.”