For decades china and indonesia have dominated the fast-paced sport of badminton — known to many as that quaint game where you swat the floaty thing over the high net. So when three-time European women's singles champ Camilla Martin, 26, a favorite in Sydney, edged out archrival Dai Yun from China in last year's world championships in Copenhagen, Martin also broke new ground for an entire hemisphere of fans. A telegenic superstar in her native Denmark, Martin is known for her steely mental toughness. And should she need a lifeline in Sydney, she won't have to phone a friend: boyfriend and men's singles champ Peter Gade Christensen will also be competing for Denmark. History is on their side. In 1992 the sport's last high-profile item, Allan Budi Kusuma and Susi Susanti from Indonesia, both took home gold. — By Harriet Barovick.
— Reported by Ulla Plon / Copenhagen