Denmark’s Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen claimed the bronze medal at the London Olympics this afternoon to put to bed the disappointment and heartbreak of losing the semi final in such dramatic fashion yesterday.
The Danes were up against Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad from Indonesia in today’s bronze medal match and it was a testament to the Danes professionalism that they managed to not only compete today but control the match given the dramatic loss in the semi final.
The Danes got the best start possible as they raced into a 7-1 lead. It was clear that Natsir and Ahmad were suffering mentally from their own semi final loss yesterday. The Danes, buoyed by the support of a full house in the Wembley Arena, were never in trouble in the opening game. Always on their toes and feeling a medal was theirs to go and win, Fischer and Pedersen took the opening game 21-12.
The second game was almost a carbon copy of the first. The Indonesians looked almost disinterested as Pedersen and Fischer raced into an 11-4 lead. Fischer in particular was enjoying the moment with regular fist pumps to the crowd. The Danes raced to match point at 20-12 and took the bronze medal at the first attempt.
The Danish celebrations that followed were immense. Fischer threw both his racket and shirt into the crowd while Christinna Pedersen stood in the middle of the court, hands on head, just soaking up the atmosphere. “It was so difficult for us after the defeat yesterday” said Fischer. “I didn’t sleep at all last night and this morning my body was wasted. But we spoke to each other and with our coach Lars Uhre and we decided to give this bronze medal match all we had left in us”
“When we started playing together four years ago we promised each other that we would do whatever it took to win a medal. To come out fighting today after yesterday’s disappointment was one of the hardest things we had to do in out 4 years together” commented Pedersen.
In the post match press conference a physically and mentally drained Fischer paid special tribute to the people who helped him through the tough times over the past two years.
“I had so much support when I was out of the game for 6 months with injury. My family coach and of course Christinna stuck by me and without them in those darker moments today would not have been possible.
In a light hearted moment when asked about their future Pedersen commented: “It all really depends on the old guy’s body as I am ready to continue”
Denmark came into these games looking to win a medal according to head coach Lars Uhre and this they have now achieved. Boe and Mogensen will look to bring more medals back to Copenhagen and Uhre is confident that is something they can achieve
“Our goal was to win a medal. This is the Olympics and it is so hard to achieve a medal. Joachim and Christinna have done themselves and Denmark proud and hopefully it is not finished for Denmark yet at these games”
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Article by Mark Phelan, Photo (LIVE) by BadmintonPhoto