Sports Round-Up: Inter eyes Eriksen
The drawn-out transfer saga involving Tottenham and Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen could end this month, reports Ekstra Bladet. Inter Milan are believed to be closing in on a deal that could see the 27-year-old Dane leave Tottenham for around 150-180 million kroner – a club he joined in 2013 from Ajax. Eriksen has resisted Spurs’ efforts to extend his contract, which is in its final year.
Legend eyes Tokyo
Along with the likes of Tony Hawk, Danish skater legend Rune Glifberg, 45, has helped to elevate skateboarding to the heights of popularity the sport enjoys today, so it’s understandable that he wants to take part in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, where the sport is making its debut. The two-time X Games gold medallist is aiming to be among the 20 competitors to qualify.
Cyclist wins top award
Cyclist Mads Pedersen, who in September became the first Dane to win the men’s World Road Championships, has been named the 2019 Sports Person of the Year. The men’s handball team won the BT Gold award for winning the World Championships earlier in the year, Kasper Schmeichel and Pernille Harder were named the footballers of the year, and boxer Mikkel Kessler has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Handballers fear exit
Heading into the 2020 Euros in men’s handball, which are being co-hosted by Sweden, Norway and Austria, the Danes were 23/10 favourites to win – particularly as they beat reigning champions Norway and France in warmup games. However, they haven’t got off to the best of starts, losing 30-31 to Iceland on January 11, before drawing with Hungary two days later. The tournament concludes on January 26.
Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite may have been a failure at Middlesbrough, but he’s been smashing it for La Liga club Leganes. On Saturday he scored for the fourth match on the trot, netting a brace in the cup. His league tally of six makes him the most prolific Dane in Spain for 24 years, trailing only Bent Christensen (12 for Compostela, 1995/96) and record holder Michael Laudrup (13 for Barcelona, 1991/92).
Another NHL Dane
In December yet another Dane got a chance to play in the NHL. Joachim Blichfeld, 21, who played a couple of games for the San Jose Sharks before being sent back down to the minors, is the 14th Dane to play in the world’s top ice hockey league. In other NHL news, Toronto Maple Leaf netminder Frederik Andersen became the second Dane to be picked for the NHL All Star Game, following Frans Nielsen’s selection in 2017.
The DBU 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. Meanwhile, the DBU has appointed Jakob Jensen, 45, as its new CEO. Jensen formerly worked for the Employment Ministry.
Bjarne bounces back
1995 Tour de France champ Bjarne Riis is again returning to the world of cycling to front a World Tour team. Riis last week confirmed that Virtu Cycling – the company he owns with Lars Seier Christensen, which previously ran a women’s team of the same name – has become the co-owner of South African outfit Team NTT and that he will take over as manager. Racing under the name Dimension Data in 2019, NTT had a dismal year.
Tall in the saddle
Danish cyclist Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen, 22 years old and 202 cm tall, who joined Movistar late last year, is officially the tallest rider in World Tour history, relegating Belgian rider Stijn Vandenbergh (199 cm) into second place. Jørgensen aims to establish himself as a top support rider in the coming years. Below he is pictured with Movistar’s shortest rider, Eider Merino (154 cm), who competes for the women’s team.