The elite of Danish sports gathered in Herning on Saturday for the 2019 Sports Awards.
The victorious Danish men’s handball team and boxing legend Mikkel Kessler, as well as a host of other athletes turned up to the annual event, which is considered the ‘Oscars’ of Danish sports.
The sports person of the year went to cyclist Mads Pedersen, who became the first Dane to win the men’s World Road Championships in late September.
Schmeichel and Harder
The men’s handball team won the BT Gold award for winning the World Championships earlier in the year, while Kasper Schmeichel and Pernille Harder won the men’s and women’s footballers of the year award.
Kessler entered into the Hall of Fame for his stellar career, while cyclist Jakob Fuglsang, svimming starlet Tobias Bjerg and wrestler Rajbek Bisultavnov also won awards.
Talent earns Formula 3 space
Young Danish motorsport talent Frederik Vesti got a significant boost in the new year when he was awarded a place in Formula 3 with Prema. The 17-year-old smashed the opposition in last year’s Formula Regional European Championship, taking the checkered flag in 13 races.
Denmark among handball Euro favourites
With the 2020 Euros in men’s handball just weeks away, the Danes look to be among the favourites to win. The European champions beat Norway and France to start the new year and are 23/10 favourites with the bookies to take the title ahead of Sweden, France and Germany. German coach Christian Prokop stated this week that the Danes were the biggest favourites along with Norway, while France, Spain and Croatia could also take the crown.
Braithwaite banging them in
Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite may have been a failure at Middlesbrough, but he’s been smashing it in La Liga for Leganes this season. Last Friday night the Dane scored for the third match on the trot – his sixth of the season. In fact, the total makes him the most prolific Dane in Spain for 24 years. Bent Christensen scored 12 for Compostela in the 1995/96 season, while legendary playmaker Michael Laudrup holds the record with the 13 he scored in the 1991/92 season for Barcelona.
Skater hero eyeing Olympics
Along with the likes of Tony Hawk, Danish skater legend Rune Glifberg has helped to elevate skateboarding to the heights of popularity the sport enjoys today. And, while he’s 45 years old now, he is still one of the top skaters in the world and still has ambitions. Glifberg wants to take part in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Skateboarding will make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games and the Dane is aiming to be among the 20 competitors to qualify. Glifberg, who turned pro in 1992, won two gold medals at the X Games.
Another Dane in the NHL
Since Frans Nielsen became the first Dane in the NHL many years ago, quite a few Danes have laced up in the world’s top ice hockey league. In December yet another Danes got the chance as Joachim Blichfeld got called up for the San Jose Sharks. The 21-year-old played a couple of games before being sent back down to the minors. In other NHL news, Toronto Maple Leaf netminder Frederik Andersen became the second Dane to be picked for the NHL All Star Game. Nielsen was the first back in 2017.
DBU looking for new assistant coach
The Danish football association DBU is looking for a new assistant coach for Åge Hareide ahead of Euro 2020, as Jon Dahl Tomasson has quit to become the new coach of Malmø FF. The former Denmark striker was set to stop after Euro 2020 when Hareide will be formally replaced by Kasper Hjulmand. DBU also revealed that 45-year-old Jakob Jensen has joined the front office as the new CEO. Jensen comes from a job in the Employment Ministry and will start on April 1.
Winter transfers ticking in
With the winter transfer window officially opening, a number of Superliga clubs have already announced several key signings. For instance, league leaders FC Midtjylland have signed Denmark under-21 winger Anders Drejer from Brighton and OB Odense have been particularly busy, signing strikers Mart Leider and Emmanuel Sabbi and selling defender Ramon Leeuwin to AZ in the Netherlands. Elsewhere, Andreas Poulsen moved to Austria Vienna from Mönchengladbach on loan. Nicklas Bendtner’s contract with FC Copenhagen also ran its course and was not extended. The big striker mentioned that he could retire.
Tall in the saddle
Danish cyclist Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen is officially the tallest rider in World Tour history at a towering height of 2.02 metres. The 22-year-old, who joined Movistar late last year, replaces rider Stijn Vandenbergh as the tallest rider in the World Tour pack, as the Belgian’s 1.99 metres relegates him into second. Jørgensen aims to establish himself as a top support rider in the coming years. See him below with Movistar’s shortest rider, Eider Merino (1.54 metres), from their women’s team.