Peter the great eyeing final flourish

0 CommentsPrint E-mail BWF, May 24, 2011
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Peter Gade, a self-professed "connoisseur of wine" knows it's not how old you are but how good you can be. And like fine wine, the Dane has matured into a fine player the older he has got.

At 34-years-old, Gade (left) is one of the old guards of the game but he is consistently reaching the semi-finals of the major events and just last month, nearly pulled off an upset when he took world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei to three games before losing the YONEX SUNRISE India Open Superseries final in New Delhi.

Pledging to play one more year – until next year's London Olympics – Gade continued to roll back the years when he overcame England's Rajiv Ouseph 21-17, 21-17 in a Group 1D tie on the opening day of the 2011 Double Star BWF Sudirman Cup World Mixed Team Championships in Qingdao, China on Sunday.

Gade's victory inspired Denmark to a 5-0 victory over their arch rivals, even though the former world No.1 said the result was always in doubt.

"I may have beaten Rajiv in straight games but it could have gone either way. He fought hard and I was just glad to have finished the game in two," said Gade, who will attempt to win his first Olympic gold medal next year. "All the matches were tough as England are so competitive.'

Asked how he can keep up with the younger, fitter players such as Chong Wei and China's Lin Dan, Gade said: "I'm still motivated and enjoy the mental challenge of facing the younger guys, although I don't enjoy the physical challenge that much!

"There are some many aspects to badminton, you need to be creative, move quickly, and be physically very strong. You also need to be agile and flexible with your shots.

"I'm the old guy but I still have lots of desire and determination when I train or when I'm on the court. I can still give them a run for their money and I'm proud of that."

He added: "I may lose more times to Chong Wei or Lin Dan (below) now, but I know I can still beat them – on my day. That keeps me going. I may win once in 10 meetings but if that one meeting is in the Olympic final, it would be perfect!"

On the 2011 Double Star BWF Sudirman Cup World Mixed Team Championships, Gade said Denmark have the capabilities to win a medal, but his dream tie would be to play Lin Dan in next Sunday's title decider.

"Our wish is to take home a medal but a lot will depend on our match against Korea on Wednesday. We have to beat them to top the group as we want to avoid a possible meeting with China in the quarter-finals," said Gade, who plays the guitar and piano in his spare time.

"China are the obvious favourites to win but I would put Denmark, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia on the same level. Any one of these four teams will be able to reach the final where China will most likely be the opponents.

"I have beaten Lin Dan in China before (2006 China Masters) and there is no reason why I can't do it again. It will be a dream to face him in Sunday's final in this magnificent stadium."

It certainly will be a fitting finale if Gade can make his dream come true.

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