In August, Viktor Axelsen scripted historical past for his homeland, Denmark. The world No. 2 Dane gained his nation’s first Olympic gold in badminton since 1996 with a 21-15, 21-15 clear sweep in opposition to Chen Lengthy of China.
Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen, the seating president of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), was the final shuttler from Denmark to win the gold, within the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
In reality, Axelsen was the one third non-Asian badminton participant after Poul-Erik Hoyer in 1996 and Carolina Marin in 2016 to win the gold medal.
On Sunday, on the Odense Sports activities Park, Axelsen, carrying on his Tokyo type, achieved one other unbelievable feat. In a fiercely fought contest, he gained the Denmark Open 2021 males’s singles title in opposition to world No. 1 Kento Momota. The reigning Olympic champion bounced again from a sport all the way down to win 20-22, 21-18, 21-12.
Breaking the Jinx
Earlier than this, Axelsen had gained solely as soon as in opposition to Momota who has staggering 14 wins in opposition to the previous. In 2014, on the German Open Grand Prix Gold, in a third-round match on the Innogy Sporthalle, Axelsen defeated Momota in straight video games with a rating of 21-17, 21-12.
After that, Momota, a two-time world champion, managed a document 11 consecutive wins in opposition to the 2017 World Championships gold medallist. It took seven years for Axelsen to lastly break the jinx, and when he ultimately turned the tables, he gained his nation’s most prestigious badminton title, Denmark Open, a BWF World Tour Tremendous 750 event, for the primary time within the metropolis he grew up in.
On his option to defeating Kento Momota, Axelsen performed an unbelievable shot – behind the again backhand – which not solely took the Japanese shuttler without warning but in addition left the commentator surprised. This shot denoted Axelsen’s present gutsy type and health, and his physique reflexes.
The plan was executed to perfection, and there was an unruffled certainty with which Axelsen made the play – a finely-calibrated tempo, certain contact on the web, crosscourt pushes, affected person look forward to the slender home windows of alternative, and sudden explosions of energy. A typical Axelsen model of play!
Axelsen is the epitome of perfection. He’s one shuttler who doesn’t surrender with out attaining perfection in each single factor that he does. Even when he has to lose, he’ll proceed to play a stroke till attaining the specified craft. Due to this headstrong strategy in direction of his sport, he had misplaced his first six Superseries finals. However due to this similar perspective, now, the Dane is within the dream type of his profession, sweeping one after one other event, mowing down one opponent after one other this 12 months together with his bludgeoning smash and appreciable all-round talents.
Maiden Denmark Open Title
Momota, a grasp tactician, recent from his silver medal win with Japan in Thomas Cup and Sudirman Cup, gained the tightly contested first sport 22-20 in opposition to Axelsen. After which, Momota, who was enjoying his first ultimate on the BWF World Tour 20 months after a automotive accident that just about ruined his badminton profession, was a sport up and 17-14 within the second. Momota seemed set to proceed his reign over Axelsen.
At this level, the match turned. Momota’s judgment on the lifts to his backhand nook went awry; the shuttle fell on the road a few instances, and all of a sudden Axelsen was again within the match that lasted for one hour and 33 minutes. Axelsen gained the following two video games 21-18, 21-12 to seal the competition with out conceding a match level.
As Momota misplaced the tempo, the 27-year-old Dane raised each arms in to rejoice one other first of his profession. “It was a loopy psychological sport, fairly demanding. It goes up and down in a match like this once you play such an incredible participant,” Axelsen stated after the ultimate.
Momota’s Bother, Axelsen’s Acquire
Coming into the 69th Denmark Open ultimate, as a two-time champion, Momota recalled his troubles with confidence for the reason that automotive crash which could have ultimately helped Axelsen get higher of his fierce rival.
“The previous is the previous and our head-to-head document is the previous and I don’t assume it’s related for tomorrow. If I don’t play one hundred pc or 120 % I’ll simply lose. So now I make my emotions sturdy and dedication inside myself would be the key for tomorrow,” stated Momota earlier than the ultimate.
Within the annals of world badminton, this win of Viktor Axelsen on the Denmark Open may have a big upshot going ahead. Momota, who dominated the earlier Olympic cycle profitable three World Championship medals, two Asian Championship gold, and an equal variety of Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup medals, won’t get again to his outdated ballistic type anytime quickly within the fast-changing scene of the world badminton.
The freakish automotive accident that he suffered in Malaysia had additionally value him an Olympic medal. The shape he was in, he may have definitely fetched Japan its first males’s singles badminton medal from the Olympic Video games. As an alternative, he made a humiliating first-round exit, dropping to unseeded South Korean Heo Kwang-hee in straight video games (21-15, 21-19).
New Period in Males’s Singles
In distinction, Viktor Axelsen, who had a bumpy sprint within the final Olympic cycle, has come a good distance from the frailties of the finals. Previous to his Tokyo feat, he had gained the Rio Olympics bronze medal in 2016 and World Championships gold in 2017 which as in comparison with Momota’s achievement in the identical interval was little.
However, on August 2, on the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, in Tokyo, Axelsen rose past the doubts forged on him. He stepped into a brand new chapter; maybe the golden section of his profession. He gained the Swiss Open and performed the All England Open ultimate in March after which adopted it with the Olympic gold. Since January this 12 months, he performed 53 matches and misplaced solely three matches.
Momota’s latest outcomes, nevertheless, have been a combined bag. Since his return to the courtroom in March on the All England Open, the place he exited from the quarterfinal, he had been patchy in Thomas Cup, Uber Cup and Sudirman Cup. In eight matches, he gained 5 and 11 video games out of 19.
In that sense, Axelsen’s Denmark Open win following the Olympic gold in Tokyo may show to be a watershed second for world badminton, because it marked the start of his good time within the ongoing Olympic cycle. Axelsen, who gained 5 titles this season, will probably be aiming for supreme domination in absence of Momota of pre-2020 type, with the French Open title his subsequent goal.
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