I told myself I was not going to lose
Date: 5/4/2013 2:57 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

Skill and talent are a must at top level talent but to set yourself apart for the rest you also need grit and determination and a core belief in yourself to succeed. Today in Frederikshavn, Germany's Olga Konon displayed all these qualities as she powered through to her first final of the season.

Konon (pictured), who is on a steady comeback trail after knee surgery, came through a pair of tough matches today against quality opposition in the shape of 3 time season winner Kirsty Gilmour and new European junior champion Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria.

In her three game win over Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour the German had to call on her deep reserves of mental strength as she battled back from a 16-12 deficit in the third game. “I knew I was behind but I also knew I would win because more than anything I wanted to win. I told myself that I was not going to lose and that brought me through against Kirsty today”

In her semi-final against Stoeva, the German once again displayed her never give up qualities as somehow she came back from a 18-14 deficit in the opening game with a run of 7 straight points to leave Stoeva looking to the heavens for some kind of divine inspiration.

In the second game Konon powered home to advance to tomorrow’s final where she will be hot favourite against Denmark’s Mette Poulsen.

Skaarup and Astrup on the double

Anders Skaarup and Kim Astrup got most value for their entry free this week after booking their place in both mixed doubles and men’s doubles finals are controlled performances in both semi-finals. Skaarup teamed up with Lena Grebak to achieve their third final in a row after winning the Finnish Open just a month ago while Kim Astrup partnered Maria Helsbøl to set up the all Danish mixed doubles final. In an unlikely twist the Danish boys will turn from mixed foe to doubles friends as they team up for the men’s doubles final where they will meet GB pairing and top seeds Ellis and Van Rietvelde.

Axelsen passes mental test with ease

Viktor Axelsen passed his biggest of the week overcoming Malaysian Misbun Ramdan in what proved to be a mental battle for the top seed after choosing to go it alone this week without a coach behind his court.

Axelsen controlled the first game before a lapse in concentration saw him letting the second set go to conserve energy for the deciding game. A close brush with the Umpire had Axelsen within a sniff of a yellow card but the Dane managed to compose himself to take the deciding set 23-21 after saving one match point against the classy Malaysian.

“It was mentally tough out there and I purposely decided this week to work without a coach so I could work on the metal side of my game”

Axelsen will face off against Ville Lang in tomorrow’s final as the Finn looked untroubled against Scotland’s Kieran Merrilees.

Hat trick on for Røpke & Kruse

Marie Ropke and Line Kruse continued their quest for a hat trick of victories in the women’s doubles and look favourites to do so after demolishing Russian duo Bibik and Chervaykova in today’s semi-final. The fourth seeds took control from the first shuttle and ran out easy winners in to games.

“It was easier than expected” said Røpke “Tomorrow we can expect a tougher match against the Swedes but I hope we can do it and win our third Denmark International title”

The 2013 Denmark International finals:

MS: Viktor Axelsen (DEN) - Ville Lång (FIN)
WS: Olga Konon (GER) - Mette Poulsen (DEN)
MD: Ellis/Van Rietvelde (ENG/SCO) - Skaarup/Astrup (DEN)
WD: Lennartsson/Wengberg (SWE) - Røpke/Kruse (DEN)
XD: Skaarup/Grebak (DEN) - Astrup/Helsbøl (DEN)

The live finals action continues at Midday (12.00 local time) tomorrow and can be viewed LIVE and in HD on Badminton Europe’s Youtube channel by clicking HERE

For all today’s results click HERE

To follow Badminton Europe on Facebook and view the full photo gallery from today’s play click HERE

Follow Badminton Europe on twitter for updates and news by clicking HERE

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Frederikshavn)

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