Sports News in Brief: Superliga nearing climax as playoffs kick in

Elsewhere, there was Danish glory in the UK and a changing of the boxing guard

Following the completion of the first stage of the Superliga this weekend – the first 26 games, after which the division will be split into three groups (a top six and two groups of four) – things are about to get really interesting over the coming weeks. And it’s tight at the top. Really tight.

Brøndby and FC Midtjylland both registered late wins to remain well ahead of the pack with 60 points each – though the Boys from the Western Suburbs are ahead by virtue of a slightly better goal difference.

FC Copenhagen is chasing FC Nordsjælland in third place, a hunt that was helped along thanks to FCN’s surprise loss to FC Helsingør last night. Only six points now separate the two and the Lions have now won five on the trot.

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Who’s going down?
There were some intense battles to see who would finish in the top six and thus qualify to reach the championship playoff.

In the end, it was AaB Aalborg and AC Horsens that managed to squeak in, with Hobro, OB Odense and SønderjyskE missing out.

They will instead join AGF Aarhus, Silkeborg, Lyngby, FC Helsingør and Randers to split into two relegation playoff groups.

Partially Danish at All England
The Danish women’s doubles partnership of Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen notched up one of the biggest triumphs of their careers on Sunday when they beat a Japanese pairing in the All England final. Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota lost 21-19, 21-18 in a close match to the third-seeded Danes, who were defeated finalists last year. Juhl and Pedersen, who are partners off the court as well as on, have a history of finishing second – like they did at the World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Danes FA Cup delight
There was more Danish glory in the UK over the weekend as three Danes managed to help their teams into the English FA Cup semi-finals. Christian Eriksen (two) and Pierre Emil Højbjerg (one) both scored to send Tottenham and Southampton through, while Andreas Christensen held firm at the back for Chelsea – who knocked out Kasper Schmeichel and Leicester in extra time. In the semis, Eriksen and Spurs will take on Manchester United, while Højbjerg and Christensen will face one another.

Danish boxing legend dies
The former boxer Jørgen ‘Gamle’ Hansen passed away last week aged 74 following a long illness. Hansen, who won 78 out of 92 professional bouts, called it quits in 1982 at the ripe age of 39 – hence the reason for his nickname ‘gamle’ (‘old’).  He punched his way into the Danish history books when at the age of 36 he surprisingly beat the European champion at the time, Dave Boy Green. Hansen also took part in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, but lost his first fight. After his career, Hansen spent a number of years at the famous Copenhagen pub Hviids Vinstue, where he worked as a waiter.

Nadim’s sister packs a punch
Speaking of boxing, apparently the sister of Danish footballer Nadia Nadim can handle herself as well. Diana Nadim has inked a professional deal with Danish promoting icon Mogens Palle. Nadim will get her debut at the next Fight Night event – which is organised by Palle and another Danish boxing hero, Brian Nielsen. It’s good times for Danish women’s boxing. Last weekend, Dina Thorslund became the interim WBC world champ after defeating Alicia Ashley of Jamaica. Meanwhile, the struggling Patrick Nielsen has been handed a final chance to resurrect his once promising career with a battle against former German world champ Arthur Abraham.

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