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OLYMPICS

With 13 medals, Denmark has ‘best Olympics ever’

The wins keep piling up for Danish athletes in Rio. Three more medals were captured on Thursday, giving the small Nordic nation 13 medals with three days of action remaining.

With 13 medals, Denmark has ‘best Olympics ever’
Sara Slott Petersen celebrates her silver medal in the 400 metre hurdles. Photo: KAI PFAFFENBACH/Scanpix
Thursday’s action was highlighted by Sara Slott Petersen’s historic silver medal in the 400 metre hurdles. Even before the starting gun, Petersen had made history by being the first Danish runner to ever compete in an Olympics final. 
 
With a personal record time of 53:55, Petersen came in second behind only American Dalilah Muhammad. 
 
“It feels like gold. It’s completely fantastic,” she told broadcaster DR after her historic performance. 
 
The head of Denmark’s Olympics delegation, Morten Rodtwitt, was ecstatic over Petersen’s silver medal. 
 
“I think her victory gives Danish sport a wonderful story that proves that we belong on this level. I think there are a lot of young people who are deeply inspired by Sara’s performance,” he told TV2 Sport. 
 
But her silver was just one reason that Rodtwitt had to celebrate. With 13 medals through the end of Thursday’s action, Denmark had already surpassed its goal of leaving Rio with ten medals in hand. It’s the first time the Danish delegation has beaten its pre-Game goals since the 1948 Olympics in London. 
 
“It is fantastic to be Danish in Rio right now, but I’m sure that there are more medals coming. This is the best Olympics we’ve ever had and that’s something we all should enjoy. This is a fantastic experience here [in Rio] and it must also be for the Danes home in Denmark,” he told TV2 Sport. 
 
Denmark won a total of four medals on Thursday. In addition to Petersen’s silver, the badminton duo of Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter took silver, while Emma Aastrand Jørgensen won silver in the women’s kayak single 500m and Denmark claimed bronze in the Women’s 49er sailing contest.
 
In total, Denmark has won one gold medal, six silvers and six bronze. 
 
 

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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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