The Dane got off to a great start at the Jyske Bank Arena on Wednesday, securing the first game 21-15 but the Thai struck back with the same scoreline to push the match to three games. Despite trailing 18-14, the 2020 runner-up stayed close in the decider before stopping Vitidsarn’s point-scoring at 19 and winning the last five rallies to seal the match and his second round place.
“I was on the ropes, not because I was playing bad, but it was difficult to find weak spots in his game,” reflected Gemke on the intense match. “It’s absolutely crazy and I can feel it going around in my head right now; a lot of joy because it’s of course a big surprise.”
The remarkable triumph meant just as much to those watching from the stands, who celebrated joyfully after the exciting encounter. Gemke compared the atmosphere to the one at the World Championships in Copenhagen’s Royal Arena, where the crowd constantly went wild cheering.
“You could see the World Championships sparked something in the hearts of Danish badminton fans. It was once again an amazing experience.”
Gemke’s second round opponent is another surprise winner, world No.24 Lin Chun-Yi, who took down Kanta Tsuneyama 20-22 21-15 21-19. It was the Chinese Taipei shuttler’s first win at the Super 750 level after two previous defeats.
“It’s a big milestone for me, it means a lot. I didn’t do well last week in Finland (at Arctic Open) but now it feels like I’ve got some energy back. I have something to stand on now,” said Lin.
*Reporting in collaboration with Badminton Europe
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