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China's Super Dan beaten by Denmark's Axelsen in badminton worlds final

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-28 11:25

China's Super Dan beaten by Denmark's Axelsen in badminton worlds final

Lin Dan of China poses during the awarding ceremony after the men's singles final match against Viktor Axelsen of Denmark at BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 in Glasgow, Britain, on Aug 27, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

GLASGOW - Lin Dan's hope of winning a sixth world title was dashed by Denmark's Victor Axelsen as the Chinese super star lost a thrilling men's singles final in straight games at the World Badminton Championships here on Sunday.

The 33-year-old Lin, nicknamed Super Dan by his fans, was 9-13 behind in the first game as the 23-year-old Axelsen, who stands 1.95 meters, took command with powerful attacks.

Lin, who won his fifth and last world title in 2013, managed to level the score at 13-13 with well-angled shots. They exchanged the lead several times before Lin took advantage at 20-19.

Axelsen, the bronze medalist at last year's Rio Olympics, saved the game point and scored three points in a row for a 22-20 victory.

The second game became a one-sided affair when Axelsen led all the way to win 21-16.

Axelsen became the third Dane to take world men's singles title following Peter Rasmussen in 1997 and Flemming Delfs in 1977.

"It was a dream for me to win a world title," Axelsen said. "I was shaking like a little child inside... Lin Dan is an idol for me."

Lin suffered his fourth defeat to Axelsen in their seven meetings, but he was satisfied with the result.

"I am 34 at the end of this year and 35 next year. I think any player will find it very hard to play a world championships final at this age. I am satisfied with the result."

He added, "We both played well today. I should have killed off the first game when I led 20-19. But I made a mistake at the crucial time. If I won the first game, all the pressure would be at Victor's side. Unfortunately, I have to take all the pressure."

Lin also dismissed any speculations about his retirement. "I will play in the Chinese National Games which kicks off tomorrow and then the Japan Open. I have been making very good preparation for this competition and I have showed that I am still strong enough physically."

Nozomi Okuhara became the first Japanese player to win the women's single title as she edged fourth seed V. Sindhu Pusarla of India 21-19, 20-22, 22-20 in one hour and 50 minutes.

China is still the biggest winner, taking two gold medals in the men's and women's doubles.

Chen Qingchen and Jiayifan defeated Japanese duo Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota 21-18, 17-21, 21-15 to win the women's doubles event. Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan needed only 37 minutes to dispose of Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan and Rian Agung Saputro 21-10, 21-17.

The mixed doubles title went to Indonesia's Ahmad Tontowi and Liliyana Natsir, who fought back from one game down to beat Chinese duo Chen Qingchen and Zheng Siwei 15-21, 21-16, 21-15.

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