Badminton: The Viktor to vanquish

Badminton: The Viktor to vanquish

PETALING JAYA: The last time Viktor Axelsen competed in Tokyo, he had experienced the biggest moment of his career when he was crowned Olympic champion.

Now, the Danish star is back in the Japanese capital for the World Championships and he is out to enjoy another memorable outing.

“Happy to be back in Tokyo! This time for the World Championships. Excited to get started on Monday. Last year in Tokyo, I won the gold medal in the Olympics and fulfilled the biggest dream of my life. I hope I can do well in the world meet. Fight!” Axelsen posted on social media.

Axelsen is the hot favorite for what will be his second world title based on his status as the top seed and his formidable form.

The Dane had won his first title in 2017 in Glasgow, beating China’s Lin Dan in the final.

Recently, Axelsen won three World Tour titles on the trot – the Indonesian Open, Indonesian Masters in June and Malaysian Open in July.

The 28-year-old also proved his superiority by capturing the All-England title in March and the European Championships a month later.

Ominously for his rivals, Axelsen has only lost once this entire year when he was narrowly denied by India’s Lakshya Sen in the semi-finals of the German Open in March.

While it does seem like a tough task for the others looking to win the world crown, the illustrious field promises an intense battle ahead.

China’s world No. 25 Shi Yuqi will be back in the fray after a one-year suspension for misconduct and will be eager to make up for lost time while Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia (No. 5), homester Kento Momota (No. 2) , Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting (No. 6), Singapore’s defending champion Loh Kean Yew (No. 8) and Lakshya (No. 10) are all capable of rising to the occasion.

Axelsen will surely need to be at his best to enjoy another Tokyo high.

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