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OLYMPICS

Denmark settles for silver after wild Japan rally

Shuttlers Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi dramatically won Olympic gold for Japan in the women's badminton doubles at the Rio Games on Thursday.

Denmark settles for silver after wild Japan rally
Denmark's Christinna Pedersen (L) and Kamilla Rytter lost to Japan's Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi in the women's doubles final in Rio on Thursday. Photo: AFP/GOH CHAI HIN/Scanpix
The Japanese duo sensationally came from behind to defeat Denmark's Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl 18-21, 21-9, 21-19 in a thrilling encounter.
 
The match was locked at 16-16 in the final game as the Danes and Japanese traded point for point. Denmark raced ahead to 19-16 and looked like they were heading for victory, only to be stunned by their counterparts.
 
Japan won four points on the bounce to go 20-16 ahead, eventually edging the game by just two points.
 
“We gave it everything we had. I just wish we could turn back time to when it was 19-16, because that's when it went too quick for us,” a disappointed Pedersen told TV2 Sport. 
 
Danish silver medallists Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl stand together on the podium. Photo: REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/Scanpix
Danish silver medallists Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl stand together on the podium. Photo: REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/Scanpix 
 
Earlier in the day South Koreans Jung Kyung-Eun and Shin Seung-Chan had defeated China's Tang Yuanting and Yu Yang to claim bronze.
 
Pedersen and Juhl's silver was Denmark's eleventh medal at the Rio Games. 
 

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OLYMPICS

Denmark joins calls to postpone Tokyo Olympics until pandemic over

Denmark has joined the chorus of countries, including Norway, the UK, Croatia, and Brazil, calling for the Olympics to be postponed for a year.

Denmark joins calls to postpone Tokyo Olympics until pandemic over
Morten Mølholm, Director General of the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark, at a press conference, back in 2018. Photo: Asger Ladefoged/Ritzau Scanpix
Morten Mølholm, Director General of the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF), said that he believed the Summer Olympics in Tokyo should be held in 2021 instead.  
 
“We have great respect for the complicated situation the IOC are in, because the Olympics are a big thing,” he told Danish state broadcaster DR. “But we are having a hard time seeing us having an Olympics in the current situation. That's why we think the right solution is to postpone them.” 
 
The decision comes after Norway on Friday sent a formal letter to the IOC, calling for them to postpone the games until the the pandemic is “under firm control on a national scale”. 
 
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The IOC on Sunday responded to mounting pressure with a statement promising to “step up scenario planning” for the games. IOC President Thomas Bach last week said it was “premature” to consider postponing them. The DIF on Wednesday echoed this position, saying that it was “too early to decide”. 
 
But Mølholm told DR on Sunday that even putting the risk of reigniting the pandemic on hold, he did not see how an Olympics held in today's conditions could be fair on athletes. 
 
“At the moment we are in a totally chaotic situation, where many athletes do not have the opportunity to train, and participate in qualifying rounds. Therefore, the only right thing is to create clarity about the situation by taking the decision to postpone it.” 
 
“We do not believe that we can have a fair Olympics this year, as the conditions will be so different for the different athletes.” 
 
He said that difficulties re-booking venues would probably make it practically difficult to postpone by only a few months, making a postponement of a full year the best option. 
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