Sports news in brief (Feb 15-21)

Raising Arizona dreams

Thorbjørn Olesen and Thomas Bjørn avoided the big names ahead of the first round of the World Match Play Championship, which started on Wednesday but has yet to be completed due to heavy snowfall. Olesen, making his debut in a tournament that is contested by the world’s top 64 players, was three up after seven holes against Welsh golfer Jamie Donaldson when play stopped. He faces a possible second round game against Australia’s Adam Scott should he prevail. Bjørn, meanwhile, who was due to lock clubs with Sweden’s Peter Hanson, has not yet started his round.

Danish dominance over

Germany on Sunday ended 17 years of Danish dominance to win badminton’s European Mixed Team Championships. In the absence of Tine Baun, the German world number four, Juliane Schenk, easily swept aside youngster Line Kjaersfeldt, current European champion Marc Zwiebler edged out Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, and a surprise win in the women’s doubles sealed a 3-0 win in the final. 

Blume boost for new coach

Pernille Blume, who anchored the female 4 x 100 medley team to gold at last year’s World Short Course Championships, has given the new national swimming coach, Shannon Rollason, a vote of confidence by agreeing to return to Denmark to train. Blume had previously trained in France, alongside compatriot Lotte Friis, and also attributed her decision to the language barrier and missing her friends.

Nielsen eyes step up

Patrick Nielsen, 21, who defended his WBA Inter-Continental Middleweight title on February 9 by defeating England’s Patrick Mendy on points, is now considering a fight against Jermain Taylor, a former world champ and participant in the Super Six. Speaking to, the country’s leading promoter Nisse Sauerland said the 21-year-old, who is undefeated in 18 fights, might fight Taylor “after the summer

Rights row rumbles on

A storm is brewing over the third-party ownership of footballers – a practice recently highlighted by the sale of the transfer rights of Mads Albæk without his knowledge. Despite the Danish FA condemning the practice, one of its excom members, Thomas Christensen, has told Tipsbladet there won’t be an outright ban, despite claims from the players’ association that it was outlawed, in principle, by UEFA in December. 

Finally a ticket to ride

Team Saxo-Tinkoff has finally been given the green light to take part in this year’s WorldTour, international cycling’s top tier. Back in December, Saxo-Tinkoff was demoted from the 18-team tour and then reinstated hours later after the expulsion of Russian outfit Katusha. However, Katusha won an appeal, so the UCI has now ruled that 19 teams will contest the tour this season.