As 2015 winds down, here’s a look at the top sporting accomplishments of the year.
While many of the traditional powerhouses – Caroline Wozniacki and the men’s handball and football teams have failed to shine – there were still a number of world-class performances.
Looking ahead to the Olympics, Denmark can once again have genuine optimism in doing well in badminton, handball, rowing, swimming and sailing.
5/ Kasper Schmeichel
The national keeper has had an amazing 2015 since returning to action from injury in March, at which point his club Leicester City were in the relegation zone of the English Premier League. Since then, they have won 18, drawn 8 and lost just 3 in the league and now sit top of the table. No wonder they came to Schmeichel’s home town to celebrate Christmas!
5/ Viktor Axelsen
The badminton star enjoyed his best season ever and would have been higher on the list had he managed to win one of the five finals he reached. He reached his highest ever ranking (5th) by finishing runner-up in the Japan, Australia, India, and Swiss Opens, as well as the BWF World Superseries
4/ FC Midtjylland
The Wolves enjoyed a marquee season, winning their first league title in club history and then reaching the knockout stages of the Europa League. Their European success hasn’t blighted this season’s league campaign either, with the club sitting just behind leaders FCK going into the winter break.
3/ Rene Holten Poulsen
The power kayaker has been in scintillating form ahead of next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, racking up two gold medals in the World Championships in the 500 and 1,000 metres. Earlier this year, the strong Dane also secured two golds and one silver medal at the European Championships.
2/ Women’s golf
It’s usually the men who reap the accolades, but this year has been a breakout year for the ladies. There are four Danes in the top 16 of the Ladies European Tour rankings, while Nicole Broch Larsen and Emily Kristine Pedersen won the Player’s Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards
1/ Maja Alm
Alm accomplished something no Dane had ever done before in orienteering by winning three gold medals at the 2015 World Orienteering Championships in Inverness, Scotland last summer. The 27-year-old finished first in the sprint, the mixed sprints and the relays to secure the stunning triple crown.