Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen kept the flag flying for Denmark and Europe through the 2000s. With their compatriots Jens Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard Hansen, Paaske and Rasmussen took over from Denmark’s great pairs of the previous decade.
Paaske and Rasmussen’s most famous victory was the World Championships 2003, where they prevailed in a thriller over Indonesians Candra Wijaya and Sigit Budiarto. The Danes had a flying start, going up 13-1 and wrapping up the opening game in 15 minutes, but the Indonesians found their touch and it was a neck-and-neck battle all the way.
The Indonesians saved a match point in the third and edged close at 13-14; a few riveting rallies later, it was Paaske and Rasmussen who emerged victorious, becoming only the second pair from Denmark, after Steen Fladberg and Jesper Helledie 20 years earlier, to win the world title.
That was also the year Paaske and Rasmussen achieved a breakthrough at the China Open, becoming the first non-Asian men’s doubles pair to capture the title.
Other high points included triumphs at the Denmark Open (2004 and 2006) and All England (2010). The All England final was one of the most thrilling seen at the venerable event, with Paaske and Rasmussen getting the better of their compatriots Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen 21-23 21-19 26-24.
Paaske and Rasmussen were a vital part of the Danish teams of the 2000s. A highlight was helping Denmark into the Thomas Cup 2004 final; in a thrilling semifinal against hosts Indonesia, Paaske and Rasmussen beat Flandy Limpele and Eng Hian as Denmark gave themselves a shot at their first-ever Thomas Cup victory.
But even though Paaske/Rasmussen outplayed Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng in the final, the Danes fell before the combined might of Lin Dan and Company.
World Championships: Gold (2004), Bronze (2006)
Thomas Cup: Silver (2002, 2004)
All England: Winners (2010)
Other Major Honours
Denmark Open: Winners (2004, 2006)
China Open: Winners (2003)
German Open: Winners (2002)
European Championships: Gold (2008, 2010)
Choose one of two matches featuring 2003 world champions Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen for the Fans' Match of the Week.
Thomas Cup 2004 Final
🇩🇰Paaske/Rasmussen🆚Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng 🇨🇳
Thomas Cup 2004 Semifinal
🇩🇰Paaske/Rasmussen🆚Flandi Limpele/Eng Hian 🇮🇩#BadmintonIcons
— BWF (@bwfmedia) September 1, 2020