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Chance for young guns to stake their claim

Denmark’s former world junior champion Viktor Axelsen played his part in helping his country get off to a great start in Amsterdam at the European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, which double up as qualifiers for the Thomas and Uber Cups.

Axelsen (left), Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Rasmus Fladberg join Jan O Jorgensen in the team as they fight for a ticket to the Thomas Cup Finals which will be held in Wuhan, China, from May 20-27.

Denmark are the favourites to qualify as champions, despite not having the services of former world No. 1 Peter Gade, who stayed back to concentrate on next month’s All England Open.

In their opening tie of Group A, the Danes thrashed Scotland 5-0 on Wednesday and will face Sweden on Thursday to decide who will make it to the quarter-finalists from the group. Sweden had defeated Scotland 4-1 on Tuesday.

Vittinghus gave Denmark the perfect start when he defeated Kieran Merrilees 14-21, 21-16, 21-8 in 47 minutes.

Mads Conrad-Petersen-Jonas Rasmussen made it 2-0 with a 21-13, 21-7 victory over Martin Campbell-Angus Gilmour while Axelsen  outclassed Gordon Hoggan 21-11, 21-12, to seal victory.

Rasmus Bonde-Anders Kristiansen made it 4-0 by beating Jamie Neill-Paul Van Rietvelde 21-16, 21-19, before Fladberg outfought Calum Menzies 21-15, 21-18 to give the Danes a comprehensive 5-0 victory.

In the women’s event, Jenny Wallwork (right), who was involved in a twitter war with Scotland’s Imogen Bankier earlier in the week, will have to be at her best on Thursday when England take on Switzerland for a place in the quarter-finals.

England and Switzerland have won their opening two ties, beating both Scotland and Italy 3-2 and 4-1 respectively.

For full results, click here.

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