Jorgensen: 'Badminton needs events like PBL'

World No. 2 Jan O Jorgensen speaks about the badminton scene in Denmark, his goals for 2017, the Premier Badminton League among other things.

JORGENSEN

World No. 2 Jan O Jorgensen hasn't won a lot of tournaments despite consistently reaching the semis of many. This year he targets mainly the All England championship.   -  AFP

World No. 2 Jan O Jorgensen, 28, is in the mood to have a memorable New Year. He along with World No. 3 Viktor Axelsen are badminton's leading lights in Denmark, home to legendary Morten Frost.

Jorgensen, has been consistently making it to the knock-out phases of many Super Series but hasn't won the number of titles which he would have loved to.

"It is a highly competitive circuit. You have to be at your best consistently. And, for me the biggest challenge this year was to overcome the serious hip injury. But, I am glad that I found a way out to come out of that phase," says Jorgensen on the sidelines of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) launch here.

"Yes, winning 2016 China Open Super Series is the biggest thing to have happened to me. Beating such a great player like Olympics gold medallist Chen Long is one thing which I will cherish for long," says the delighted Dane.

"There is no doubt about the great Morten Frost’s influence on the sport back home. I was lucky to be coached by him sometime back. We have had some great players whom we always looked up in awe like Frost, then Peter Gade. Quite naturally happy we are keeping our country consistently on the world badminton map," explained Jorgensen.

"The sport has become very demanding with so many events lined up which is also really good for the players too. But again to be amongst the best, you have to keep improving in all aspects – be it in the game or even training methods," he says.

"My biggest target now is to win the All England championship next year. That is one title I am really looking forward to and then only think of other events," he insists.

Jorgensen feels that China's waning domination doesn’t mean its end. "There are still some great players like Chen Long who is the best now and even Lin Dan at this age is very dangerous. There is quite a few young Chinese talent coming up. But, it is important to note that other countries have started catching up in the sport too," he explains.

How is the sport back home in Denmark? "We are glad that some radio stations have been promoting it in a big way and we hope to see new talent emerge in the days to come."

On PBL, Jorgensen, who will be spearheading Delhi Acers' challenge, says these are the kind of events which the sport badly needs to promote and provide the players with huge opportunities.

"The points format is different but definitely exciting, very different too and I am eagerly waiting to play here," Jorgensen says.

On Indian badminton, the star Danish player felt that Saina (Nehwal) is an example at the highest level for others like Sindhu to take a cue and there are very some good players who can be world-beaters. "There is Sameer who looks good (the Indian beat Jorgensen in the 2016 Hong Kong Open semifinal)," he says.