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Danes stay on course as giant killer is eliminated

Germany’s Karin Schnaase experienced a high and a low at the European Championships on Wednesday, but Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl reached the quarter-finals of two events.

The unseeded Schnaase (left), who had stunned fourth seed Pi Hongyan of France in straight games in Karlskrona, Sweden, earlier in the day, retired injured against Kristina Gavnholt when she was trailing 21-11, 18-14 to miss out on a place in the quarter-finals.

Pedersen-Juhl, who captured their first women’s doubles Superseries title when they won the Malaysia Open earlier this year, are in the quarter-finals of the both women’s and mixed doubles competitions.

The two, who have become fast friends on and off the court, cruised into the last eight of the women’s event by crushing England’s Langley Alexandra-Lauren Smith 21-8, 21-13.

In the mixed doubles, where they could potentially face each other in the final, Pedersen partnered Joachim Fischer Nielsen to a 21-18, 21-12 victory over Valeriy Atrashchenkov-Anna Kobceva while second seeds Thomas Laybourn-Juhl outplayed Nico Ruponen-Amanda Wallin 21-8, 21-15.

Denmark are on course to dominate the tournament yet again with Peter Gade (men’s singles), Tine Baun (women’s singles, right) and Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen (men’s doubles) all favoured to win the gold medals.

Baun will have some opposition from Germany’s Juliane Schenk while Gade will likely have to overcome teammates Viktor Axelsen and Jan O Jorgensen if he is to win the crown.

A fourth Dane, third seed Hans Kristian Vittinghus was surprisingly beaten by Germany’s Dieter Domke. The defeat will likely end Vittinghus’ chances of qualifying for the Olympics.

As it stands now, Gade and Jorgensen are in position to make the cut to the London Games as Denmark’s representatives with only next week’s India Open as the final qualifying tournament.

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