Axelsen in tears after ending Denmark's 25-year wait for Olympics gold


Denmark's Viktor Axelsen (left) celebrates with his coach Kenneth Jonassen after beating China's Chen Long to win the men's singles gold in Tokyo. - AFP

TOKYO: Denmark's Viktor Axelsen won Olympics badminton gold on Monday in Tokyo, becoming the first non-Asian man to win the singles title since 1996.

World number two Axelsen beat China's defending champion Chen Long 21-15, 21-12, taking control early and never loosening his grip in a relentless performance.

Axelsen, who won bronze at the 2016 Rio Games, followed in the footsteps of compatriot Poul-Erik Hoyer, the Atlanta Games champion and the last winner from outside Asia.

Hoyer, now world badminton's president, was in the arena to watch Axelsen match his achievement.

World number six Chen Long was bidding to emulate legendary Chinese player Lin Dan in retaining his Olympics title.

But Axelsen held his nerve with the prize in sight, then broke into disbelieving sobs when Chen hit the final shot long.

World number one Kento Momota of Japan exited the competition in the group stage.

Indonesia's Anthony Ginting took bronze, beating gutsy Guatemalan world number 59 Kevin Cordon 21-11, 21-13.

Anthony's win gave Indonesia two medals on the final day of badminton, after Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu claimed gold in the women's doubles.

It was Indonesia's first Olympic title in women's doubles, and the country's first gold medal of the Tokyo Games. - AFP

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Badminton

Wait and See game pays off
Apacs sponsorship a boon for doubles specialist Wee Kiong
China’s young guns give Xuanze reason to believe they are title contenders
Badminton: M’sia almost through to quarter-final of Sudirman Cup after 3-2 win over England
Ellis not in wonderland
No need for pressure cooker – Pearly and Thinaah stay cool as cucumber
Zii Jia uses first-hand experience to keep debutants steady
Aaron-Soh won’t take new Japan top pair for granted
Low can’t wait to Goh on a high again with new partner
Embassy calls on M’sians in Finland to show support

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers