Viktor Axelsen wins men’s singles badminton gold in Tokyo

Viktor Axelsen, who won bronze at the 2016 Rio Games, was aggressive from the start, taking the first game 21-15, and then overwhelming Chen in the second 21-12.

Gold medallist Viktor Axelsen of Denmark poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men’s singles badminton event at the Tokyo Olympics.   -  Getty Images

Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen has won gold in men’s singles badminton, denying a repeat title to the defending Olympic champion, China’s Chen Long, 2-0 in convincing fashion.

Axelsen, who won bronze at the 2016 Rio Games, was aggressive from the start, taking the first game 21-15, and then overwhelming Chen in the second 21-12.

Both players routinely mixed incredibly fast precision smashes along the edges of the court with delicate touch shots near the net. Some of the rallies approached a minute in length.

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Chen had been trying to become the second Chinese man in a row to win back-to-back Olympics in the sport. Lin Dan won at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games.

Chen's loss will be keenly felt in China, which has had two spotty Olympics after a long reign of dominance over the sport.

Earlier on Monday, Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting won the bronze medal, ending the surprising run of Kevin Cordon of Guatemala, which is not a traditional power in badminton.

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