Badminton veteran Gade builds up towards London Olympics

Last Updated: May 20, 2012, 18:44 PM IST

Wuhan (China): Danish badminton player Peter Gade is feeling good about his game ahead of the London Olympics.

With a comfortable 2-0 win, Danish veteran Peter Gade led his country cruise past underdog South Africa in the opener of the Thomas Cup here Sunday.

In the first group stage encounter of the team championships, Denmark made a clean sweep by beating South Africa in straight sets.

In the first singles, Gade met little resistance from his lower-ranking opponent Jacob Malieka before winning 21-7, 21-6.

"It` s nice to get going, I` m pretty happy about my game. Today`s opponent is at lower level. I`m still building up towards London, hopefully getting better and better," said Gade, who welcomed his ninth Thomas Cup journey.

"This time is my last Thomas Cup, hopefully I can get a medal here."

Ranked world No. 5, Gade will be 36 at the end of the year. Last year at the Sudirman Cup, Gade hit form by leading Denmark into the final against China. However, he is finding tough to sustain a challenge on the world badminton circuit this year.

In 2012, Gade suffered a low tide, having won nothing. Last month at the European Championships, the highest-ranking European player was stopped in the early stage.

The former All England champion, who will retire after the London Games, said he was paying price for pushing his body to the limit.

"The last part of 2011 is really tough on me, a lot of tournaments and a lot of tough matches. My body is paying the price. Now since January, I am building up towards the Olympics, the tournaments from January to London Olympics don`t matter," said Gade.

IANS