Sport Round-Up: Jonas Vingegaard wins Denmark’s answer to Sports Personality of the Year
Elsewhere, FC Copenhagen has strong expectations for its new player
No-one could deserve the award more than him. At the age of 26, Team Jumbo-Visma rider Jonas Vingegaard won Årets Sportsnavn for the first time in his career on Saturday, receiving the award from the Danish Sports Federation and Team Denmark in Herning.
The Dane had a terrific season. He won the world’s biggest cycling race, becoming only the second Danish rider to top the Tour de France’s overall rankings, beating Slovenia’s wonderboy Tadej Pogačar, a cyclist tipped by many to dominate the sport for the next decade, in the process.
Besides the victory, he also secured some big stage wins in other races, including the Critérium du Dauphiné and the CRO Race.
“I hope that I can help inspire others to start cycling or playing another sport,” Jonas Vingegaard said from the stage.
The Dane also won the BT Gold Award ahead of tennis star Holger Rune and last year’s Årets Sportsnavn winner, badminton player Viktor Axelsen.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg named footballer of the year
It was a disappointing year for Danish football, but one player stood out. Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has been a key player for both his club and country, so it was a pretty logical choice made by the Danish Football Association (DBU) and Danish Players’ Association.
“It confirms that what you are doing is positive. That kind of recognition helps me get motivated to continue down that path, but also to stay humble, honest and continue to develop,” he said as he picked up the award won by Simon Kjær last year.
Meanwhile, Vålerenga defender Stine Ballisager won the women’s award, succeeding Signe Bruun.
In other categories, Ida Karsoft (athletics) won the ‘Intet er umuligt’, Turpal Bisultanov (wrestling) the ‘Olympiske Håb’, Freja Jæger Poulsen (jiu-jitsu) the ‘Frivillige Ildsjæl’, Tobias Thorning Jørgensen (para dressage) the ‘Kulturministerens Idrætspris’, Cykling Odense (cycling) the ‘Årets Idrætsforening’ and Piotr Wojewski (sailing) the ‘Årets Træner’.
Caroline Wozniacki admitted into Hall of Fame
Finally, former tennis star Caroline Wozniacki was inducted into the Danish Sports Hall of Fame.
“When I was a little girl, probably nine or ten years old, and said I wanted to be the best in the world, a lot of people probably said ‘yes, yes, it’s good for you’. So I hope this can help inspire others,” she said as she was honoured on stage.
The 2018 Australian Open winner spent 71 weeks as world number one in the WTA ranking between 2010 and 2011. She retired in 2020 at the age of 29.
The Dane joins some fellow legends such as Peter Schmeichel, Michael Laudrup, Camilla Martin and Anja Andersen in the Hall of Fame. As part of her induction, she will have her bust exhibited in Idrættens Hus in Brøndby. She becomes the 39th athlete to be inducted following hurdler Sara Slott Petersen last year.
Danish handballers favourites to make it a hat-trick of world titles
Denmark are 7/5 favourites to win the World Men’s Handball Championships, which begin in Sweden and Poland on Wednesday and then conclude on January 29. Should Denmark win, it will be their third world title in a row. Mikkel Hansen is second favourite to be both MVP and top scorer (4/1 and 11/4 respectively) and, tellingly perhaps, team-mate Mathias Gidsel is also in contention to be MVP, at 5/1, while Niklas Landin is an odds-on favourite to be named top keeper in the all-star team. Denmark’s first game is against Belgium on Friday at the Malmö Arena at 20:30.
Kasper Dolberg to Hoffenheim on loan
Danish striker Kasper Dolberg will play for German team Hoffenheim for the second half of the season. The 25-year-old Dane has been loaned again by French club OGC Nice after six months with Sevilla FC. He will be teammates with two other Danish players, Robert Skov and Jacob Bruun Larsen.
FCK acquire Benfica forward
Portuguese forward Diogo Goncalves, 25, has signed a four-year contract with FC Copenhagen. FCK hopes Goncalves, who made 98 appearances for Benfica, will help them head back to the top of the Superliga.
New head coach for Brøndby IF
Brøndby IF has promoted its U21 coach Jesper Sørensen to take over the first team on a contract extending until 2025. The club, owned by Global Football Holdings since the end of October, fired Niels Frederiksen after a disappointing first half of the season. Brøndby is 10th in the Superliga, which will resume on the third weekend of February.
Kathrine Kühl to join Arsenal
Danish national team midfielder Kathrine Kühl, 19, is now an Arsenal player. The English club has acquired the young player from FC Nordsjælland, where she has been since 2018. Kühl has already made 21 appearances for the Danish national football team.
Strong year for Danish cyclists
According to data from ProCyclingStats, 2022 has been a great year for Danish riders. They won 27 stages during the year, thanks to nine wins by Mads Pedersen and seven by Jonas Vingegaard – the biggest number since 1999, when they won 30 stages. In 2021, there were 23 victories for the Danes.
Clara Tauson forced to withdraw from Australian Open
Clara Tauson, 20, will not take part in the Australian Open from January 16. The Dane has suffered a foot injury and has decided to stay in Europe to recover. The world number 108 will head to southern France with her medical team to get well as soon as possible.
Holger Rune named Danish tennis player of the year
The Danish Tennis Association has logically chosen Holger Rune as the best Danish player of 2022. The 19-year-old had a terrific season in which he won three tournaments – including the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris – and moved from world number 103 to 11th place at the end of the year. He is the first male tennis player to win the award since 2012, when Frederik Løchte Nielsen won it.
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