Hér að neðan má lesa viðtal við danska meistarann Peter Gade. Gade er í 3. sæti heimslistans. Badminton Europe tók viðtalið sem er á ensku.
Gade: 'I'm looking forward to Manchester'
Denmark's four-times champion Peter Gade is the man to beat at the Yonex European Championships starting in Manchester on Wednesday.
Badminton Europe speaks with the 33-year-old about his dominance in Europe, his main rivals in Manchester and about the meaning of a European title.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Peter, you have never lost a single match at the Europeans. Are you unbeatable in Europe?
Peter Gade: Well, during the past 15 years I maybe lost only five matches against Europeans at all. It's not something specifically with the Europeans. I think the reason why I have never lost a single match at Europeans is if a player want to beat me he has to be on the peak of his form while I must have an off-form. This will not often happen. But I am very happy with the four titles I already have won and I am going for the 5th from next week on.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Which players are your main challengers in Manchester?
Gade: Jan Ø. Jørgensen must be the main challenger. Then Joachim Persson (Denmark), Dicky Palyama (Netherlands) and Marc Zwiebler (Germany) and maybe others. On a good day they can make troubles for Jan and me. What you shouldn't forget is, it was a tough first part of the year for me. A lot of mental energy was used to reach these results. For me it's all about keeping the motivation high. Maybe it's enough to play with 90-95 % percent and still win games but maybe not. You'll never know. But I want to be as professional as I can.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Five title - a record forever?
Gade: It's a possibility, yes. It could be a record forever. I wasn't able to take part in the Europeans in 2002 and 2008 because of injuries. So I could have won two more titles (laughs).
BADMINTON EUROPE: What does a title at the European Championships mean to you?
Gade: Often it depends on the season. Of course this title is great to achieve. A lot of prestige. But it is not a disaster If I don't win it. I do whatever I can to win it again.
BADMINTON EUROPE: We all know, you are a big FC Liverpool fan and you like listening to english music. Are you looking forward to go to Manchester?
Gade: I am in the enemies town (laughs). I have been traveling to Manchester many times because I was often in Liverpool and you have go trough Manchester. I really like to play in England. And I am sure I am gonna enjoy Manchester too. I haven't been to the city center yet and I am looking forward to experience the city of Manchester.
BADMINTON EUROPE: So you don't know the arena?
Gade: No, but I have heard many good things about it. The English players in my Club Team Skælskør-Slagelse told me about it. So I am looking forward to play in the M.E.N. Arena.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Your recent results have shown that you are still at the top of the world - able to beat any player. No signs of tiredness?
Gade: Not at the moment. But these things could change. Because the competition in the Men's Singles event is quite high. Two years ago I would be very surprised to see me playing that level I have recently shown. I don't feel I have reached my outmost best at the moment. This is a good sign to go on. As long as I am feeling this I keep on playing. Maybe one or two more years. Maybe I am going for the Olympics 2012. But this is not for sure.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Did you and the Danish team prepare specifically towards the Europeans?
Gade: It's a matter of priority. Of course we all want to do well in Manchester and getting European titles. But at the same time the Thomas Cup finals may have a higher priority. And we have to accept it's not always possible to play at the peak all the time. Of course the All-England Championships and the Swiss Open were good tournaments for the Danish players - and we want to continue with that level at the European Championships too.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Peter, thank you for this interview.