TOKYO: Denmark's Viktor Axelsen clinched the men's singles title at the 2022 BWF World Championships after beating Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21-5, 21-16 in the final, here on Sunday.
With his win, Axelsen now simultaneously holds the Olympic, World Championships, BWF World Tour Finals, and the last three Super 1000 titles. He also claimed the world title in Glasgow in 2017.
World number one was expected to prevail over Vitidsarn, and he did, but he was required to step up a level in the second game. The 21-year-old Vitidsarn, having been blown away in the opening game, exerted greater control in the second, mixing his shots and keeping Axelsen on edge.
However, the phase didn't last as some astonishing defensive returns from Axelsen had Vitidsarn shaking his head in disbelief. The momentum swung right back and the veteran closed it out eventually.
"I'm really happy about how I managed to control and deal with everything in there. Obviously, I was also the favourite and there was a lot of pressure on me. But I managed to perform under this pressure, and I'm really proud of myself," said Axelsen.
"I came out really strongly. I controlled the court really well. I controlled the drift really well. It was slower today than yesterday on the side I started on and I think that came as a surprise to both of us. But yeah, I stepped up really well and Kunlavut came on really strong in the second game with a good game plan. But I turned the table around a little bit after the 11-point interval," he added.
On the other hand, the top seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan defeated Olympic champion China's Chen Yufei to retain the women's singles title. Yamaguchi won the match 20-12, 10-21, 21-14 in one hour and eight minutes.
It was the fourth straight time that Chen lost to Yamaguchi since 2020. The Japanese shuttler has beaten Chen 14 times in their 22 meetings.
Meanwhile, Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong of China won their third mixed doubles world title by beating two-time runners-up Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino of Japan 21-13, 21-16.
Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan also landed their third gold medal in the women's doubles event at the world championships as the Chinese duo beat South Korea's Kim Soyeong and Kong Heeyong 22-20, 21-14.
Malaysia's Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik triumphed in the men's doubles by defeating Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia 21-19, 21-14. IANS
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