Giant-killing Danes Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl stunned China’s second-ranked pair in the semi-finals of the women’s badminton doubles at the Olympics on Tuesday to end the Asian nation’s 20-year stranglehold on the title.
An inspired performance at the Riocentro saw Pedersen and Rytter Juhl fend off Yu Yang and Tang Yuanting 21-16 14-21 21-19 in a thriller, ensuring Denmark will grab their first medal in the event since badminton joined the Olympic programme in 1992.
After closing out a fierce match point with a smash, Pedersen and Rytter Juhl slumped over in relief as ecstatic Danish fans jumped up and down in the terraces.
The Scandinavians will meet Misaki Matsumoto and Ayaka Takahashi in the title-decider on Thursday, the Japanese having defeated South Korea’s Jung Kyung-eun and Shin Seung-chan in the earlier semi-final.
The top-ranked Japanese defended brilliantly against the world number five Koreans and were too strong at the net in the 21-16 21-15 win.