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She follows in footsteps of Champion mother Lene Koppen

Posted on May 21 2014 | IANS

By Sandip Sikdar, New Delhi, May 21 : Danish badminton player Marie Roepke didn't have to look beyond her family for a role model. For the daughter of Lene Koppen, first female World Champion in 1977, badminton was an automatic choice.

But ask Marie and she says it was her father who inspired her to take up the sport. In fact, it was very late that Marie realised that her mother Lene was a legend.

Lene scripted history when she won the women's singles and the mixed doubles titles at the inaugural World Championships in 1977 in Sweden. Lene, who retired from the game in 1983, now practices dentistry in Copenhagen.

Marie, who was born in 1987, told IANS that it was her father who was insturmental in introducing her to the game. The 26-year-old Marie, who has emerged as a good doubles player, cannot be compared to her famous mother, but she has done well for herself.

"When I started, I did not know my mother used to play and what she had achieved. In fact, my dad also used to play and he inspired me. My mother had no role in me taking up badminton. To me she is only my mother," Marie, who is representing Denmark in the Uber Cup here, told IANS.

Marie, who is a banker, said her mother, also a two-time All-England champion, doesn't like to talk about badminton too much and keeps herself busy practising dentistry.

"She is practising dentistry nowadays. She had retired before I was born and I have my own career and we generally don't discuss too much badminton," said Marie.

Marie wants to make her own space in world badminton, and doesn't want to be known as the daughter of a legend, who was elected to the Badminton Hall of Fame in 1998.

Marie is one of the best doubles players for Denmark and has won a silver medal at the London Grand Prix Gold and was also the runner-up at the 2012 European Championships. Along with her partner Line Kruse, Marie also won the Denmark International three times.

Marie and Line are Denmark's No.2 women's doubles pair after Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl. Though the duo had a best ranking of No.14 in the world, they are currently No.17.

Here in the Uber Cup, the World Women's Team Championship, the team has started well with victories over Malaysia and Germany.

"We played well against Malaysia and Germany. They were difficult matches but we came out well. We play Japan Wednesday and I think we have chances of doing really well in the tournament," concluded the Dane.

(Sandip Sikdar can be contacted at

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