Badminton’s first gold medals of the 2023 European Games were handed out yesterday, with Denmark and Bulgaria wresting back the men’s and women’s doubles crowns.
The men’s doubles final proved a thrilling affair, which eventually went the way of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen. The top seeds defeated British pair Ben Lane and Sean Vendy 21-15 19-21 21-19 in a pulsating 74-minute contest, reclaiming the gold Denmark won at the inaugural edition at Baku 2015 via Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen.
“It’s beautiful, and I’m incredibly proud of Kim and myself. There are many tournaments in a year and many matches to be won, but it’s not every time you come out on top,” Rasmussen told Badminton Denmark.
Astrup added: “We have a good team around us who help us every single day and ensure we perform at a high level. This medal belongs to them as much as it belongs to us.”
“We knew what our goal here was and we’ve been working a few weeks towards that. We wanted to make our country and parents proud. We are happy to take this medal back to them,” Gabriela told Badminton Europe.
Three more finals to come
“I didn’t feel that comfortable out there. Credits to Toma for playing a good match,” Axelsen, who takes on his semifinal opponent’s younger brother Christo today, said.
The losing semifinalists in all five disciplines return home with bronze.