Born in Aarhus, Denmark in 1968, Thomas Lund was the partner just about every player wants to have. With him came success. His outstanding record in both men’s and mixed doubles is second to none for a European player.
His partnership with back-of-the-court specialist Jon Holst-Christensen brought him five national and twenty-one international titles in men’s doubles, including two European Championships, three Danish Open and five German Open titles, as well as two finals in the World Championships in 1991 and 1995.
His partnership with Pernille Dupont in mixed doubles was even more fruitful, with twenty-two international titles. In just over two years from 1990 to 1992, Lund and Dupont clinched titles at the Canadian, Danish, Korea, Chinese Taipei, All England, Finnish, German, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Swedish and US Opens, to which they added one European Championships title in 1992, and three consecutive World Grand Prix Finals.
After Dupont’s tragic and career-stopping injury at the 1993 Chinese Taipei Open, Lund switched partners and joined an international duo with Catrine Bengtsson of Sweden. His partnership with the Swede was as short as it was successful: in just one year, they won six Grand Prix titles and the 1993 IBF World Championships in Birmingham, in which he defeated his men's doubles partner Jon Holst-Christensen and Grete Mogensen in a tight mixed doubles final. It was Lund’s first World Championships title after his two finals in 1991.
Following his partnership with Bengtsson, Lund had a similar run of success with his new partner and wife-to-be, Marlene Thomsen. The Danish duo was successful at eight Grand Prix events before winning the 1995 World Championships in Lausanne. The Danish duo peaked at just the right moment: in seven matches, apart from their very close call in the semi-finals against Swedes Jan-Eric Antonsson and Astrid Crabo, Lund and Thomsen allowed less than 8 points per match to their opponents. That overwhelming performance made Lund the first Dane to win two World Championships titles.
Lund’s adaptability was among the best in the game: he won five consecutive World Grand Prix Finals mixed doubles titles from 1990 to 1994, with three different partners: Pernille Dupont, Catrine Bengtsson, and Marlene Thomsen.
Even at the height of his career, the tall Dane was always keen to share his tips, whether regarding technique or tactics, for becoming a world class doubles player. “[You] need to separate the physical and play sessions in order to create quality. In technical sessions, one shot is isolated, with lots of technique repetitions. 100 times is boring but the only way to do it. Focus on easy, practical shots to avoid mistakes,” Lund stated, describing his recipe for success in doubles.
Lund, who also believed in the importance of communication in a doubles partnership, put it bluntly: “One of the most common reasons for failure in doubles is the lack of communication between the players.” His communication skills with his mixed doubles partner Marlene Thomsen were confirmed when the couple married in 2002. They have two sons.
Thomas Lund retired after the 1997 All England. During his playing career, from 1987 to 1997, Lund earned 41 caps for Denmark and won an incredible 51 Grand Prix titles.
Upon his retirement, Thomas Lund served in the Danmark Badminton Forbund (Denmark Badminton Association) as their Performance Director from 1997 to 2001. He then served as their Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 2001 to 2007. After a brief stint as the Director of Badminton for HEAD Sports in Austria, Lund was appointed COO of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in 2009 and has been designated as their Secretary General since 2012.
Thomas studied at the Copenhagen Business School and earned a Master’s Degree in Marketing.
Lund was elected to the Badminton World Federation Hall of Fame in 2008.
His hobbies are badminton, cycling, tennis and golf.
2008 – BWF Hall of Fame
Badminton Danmarks fortjensttegn (Badminton Denmark Meritorious Award)
BIBLIOGRAPHY & REFERENCES
Badminton (Dansk Badminton Forbunds officielle blad)
Badminton Handbook (Bernd-Volker Brahms)
Danish Open 1995 Official Program
Danmarks Badminton Forbund gennem 75 år (DBF)
Dansk Badminton Forbund Spillerfacts 1992
International Badminton – the first 75 years
-- By Yves Lacroix