At 23, Anders Antonsen is climbing up the badminton hierarchy at a pace that has most shuttlers on the professional circuit in admiration and envy hoping to stop and emulate him at the same time.

If the young Dane, who recently clinched the Denmark Open at the expense of national compatriot Rasmus Gemke, maintains this relentless pace, he could easily distance himself from the chasing pack in a highly competitive men’s singles sphere.

Coming from a family that devotes itself to the game, it is no surprise to see the world number three where he is.

At 16, he had made a huge sacrifice in pursuit of success, prioritising his non-existent career over his education.

"I went to high school and I was there for three days. Then I left and walked down to the club where my father was [working there], and I told him I’m not going back to school for one more day.

"That is not the life and dream I’m chasing," Antonsen told Tokyo2020 recently.

The choice was made and Antonsen started to work his way from the bottom of the food chain.

He conquered Europe first, winning several titles to be crowned European Young Player of the Year in 2015.

Five years later, he played some of the biggest names including Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, whom he beat in their only meeting in 2019.

He also secured a silver medal at the World Championships last year, a run that made him comfortable in his abilities to win a gold medal in Tokyo next year.

"Who doesn’t want to win an Olympic gold? That is the best you can achieve in maybe all of sports.

"I know that I’m not going into the tournament as the favourite, so I have to deliver a hell of a performance during that Olympics," he added.

A post shared by Anders Antonsen (@anders_antonsen)