Great Danes

The dominance of the Chinese women's doubles pairings in badminton can count as perhaps the longest-running dynasties in any sport. Chinese women last lost a World Championship crown in 1995 and were denied a gold medal at the Summer Olympics way back in 1992.

They've occupied the top of the podium at the Worlds on 17 occasions from the last 20 editions, and five times of the last six Olympic Games.

So when Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl roared to a 21-19, 21-12 win against a Chinese pairing, which included their highly successful doubles specialist Ma Jin alongside junior Tang Jinhua, the Danes had snapped another domineering streak. The Chinese pair of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, had won the last three season-ending finales of the Super Series calendar — an assembly of the top-8 performers on the circuit through the season.

Pedersen also picked her third mixed doubles SS Finals crown with Joachim Fischer Nielsen and it was additionally commendable since all the top pairings were in attendance unlike the depleted field in singles. She is well on her way to becoming one of the greatest, as well as a leading protagonist alongside the feisty men of Denmark's defiance of Chinese authority in this discipline.

The Danish challenge to China's doubles supremacy has been one of adventure and audacity. Chipping at the Chinese's games tactically and raising the fitness and speed stakes with every subsequent World Championship, the Danes are now challenging the east Asians, after they picked a bronze and silver at London.

Rio might well be the first Games where the Chinese go in a tad iffy about what has been hitherto an assured gold medal in the combination events. It won't hurt the Danish girls' confidence that also they scalped the top-ranked Chinese pair Xiaoli Wang and Yang Yu, whom they'd never beaten prior to this.

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