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Sports news in brief (Feb 8-14)
Olympic dreams hit iceberg
The Danish men’s and women’s teams have failed to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics ice hockey. The men, who qualified for the final round of qualifying courtesy of being ranked #12 in the world, failed to capitalise on home advantage and a good start last week on Thursday when they defeated Ukraine 2-0. Despite this, they knew they could not afford to lose against Slovenia, a team six places below them in the rankings, but despite a better shot ratio, they lost 1-2 on Friday. So in the end, their 2-3 loss to Belarus on Sunday was a dead rubber. The women, meanwhile, who qualified for the final round thanks to winning two previous qualifying groups, got within one game of the Olympics, but lost 0-5 to Japan – a team eight places above them in the rankings.
Germany gunning for Danes
Heading into badminton’s European Mixed Team Championships, which started in Russia on Tuesday and concludes on Sunday, the German side were hopeful of upsetting the form book to topple Denmark, which has won the last nine titles and not lost since 1994. “We hope we can beat them!” the current European champ, Marc Zwiebler, told badmintoneurope.com.
Wieghorst joins Swans
Ahead of his chance to rewrite Swansea City’s history in the League Cup final on February 24, the club’s manager, Michael Laudrup, has recruited another Dane, naming Morten Wieghorst, 41, as assistant manager. Wieghorst, who played for Laudrup at Brøndby, leaves his post as Denmark’s under-21 manager, but will still oversee two more games in March.
Dismal defeats for Danes
The national football side endured a demoralising 0-3 defeat to FYR Macedonia last week on Wednesday. It was all over inside the first half hour as the Macedonians scored in the 8th, 17th and 24th minutes. It marked a dismal debut for goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. Meanwhile, a day earlier, the under-19s lost 1-3 away in England. Danny Amankwaa was the only scorer.
Big splash for tabloid
An Ekstra Bladet story has made waves across a continent still reeling from Europol’s confirmation it is investigating 380 games for match fixing. Liverpool’s 1-0 Champions League defeat of Hungarian side Debrecen was fixed, claims the tabloid, which cites text messages from fixers cursing Steven Gerrard for missing scoring chances against corrupt Debrecen keeper Vukasin Poleksic.