We want to break into top-four: Kim Astrup and Anders

Vastavam web: World No.9 Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen want to break into the top-four but the Danish men’s doubles pair is wary of playing too many badminton tournaments for Olympic qualification, which, they feel, can take a toll. Kim and Anders bagged the biggest title of their career at the China Open World Tour Super 1000 tournament in 2018 and achieved a career-best ranking of world no.6 late this year. The two are in the national capital for ongoing India Open.

“We want to stay inside the top 8 and take it step by step to reach the top four. But we have to be 100 per cent throughout the year to reach our goal and we hope to qualify for Olympics also,” Kim, who along with Anders, finished runners-up in the last edition, told. The Olympic qualification period starts April 29 with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) ranking on April 30, 2020 being the cut-off point for allocation of spots for the Tokyo Games.

alking about the importance of scheduling in the Olympic qualification year, Anders said: “It takes a toll on you, as you are away from families. In Denmark, we don’t have that many periods where we can train hard. We didn’t perform well in All England and had just two weeks to prepare for this tournament. “So you don’t have time to take, say, one month’s break now unless you want to skip some tournaments. As the ranking is important, everybody is playing almost everything, so you have to invest in playing a lot of tournaments to keep up and move forward.”

The 30-year-old from Copenhagen said he doesn’t want to lose sleep over Olympics as it is still more than a year away. “If we are no.5 or no.8 in the world doesn’t make a big difference but we would like to reach the top four but Olympics is still one and a half year away and there are so many good players and you have to focus on the moment,” he said. “But we also don’t want to go to Olympics at no 16. We have to be competitive and have fun playing. Right now there are 10 men’s doubles pairs who can win each tournament and not only one as we have seen in All England, so just focus on ourselves and move forward.”

“We had a target of performing at All England but we couldn’t do well. There are very good men’s doubles pairs at the moment. So, we hope to win some good matches in this three weeks and take home a title,” Anders said. The Danish duo had suffered a straight game loss to Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty at the opening round of Swiss Open and Kim said they have a lot of respect for the Indian pairs in the circuit.

“We know that Chirag (Shetty) is a good men’s doubles player and Chopra (Pranaav Jerry Chopra) is a good mixed doubles player but we didn’t expect to loss in straight games. They are good players,” Kim said.