Viktor Axelsen Wins, China Tops Table at 2017 Badminton World Championships

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 27, 2017

Bronze medalists, China's Chen Long (L) and South Korea's Son Wan Ho (2nd L), gold medalist Denmark's Viktor Axelsen, silver China's Lin Dan (R) celebrate on the podium after the men's singles during the 2017 BWF World Championships of badminton at Emirates Arena in Glasgow on August 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANAN        (Photo credit should read ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ANDY BUCHANAN/Getty Images

Viktor Axelsen was crowned 2017 men's badminton world champion Sunday after he defeated China's Lin Dan in straight games, clinching Denmark's first and only gold medal of the competition.

Japan's Nozomi Okuhara was crowned women's champion after she bested Indian contender P.V. Sindhu in a thrilling affair that took all three sets, as told by Badminton Talk:

China struck double gold in the men's and women's doubles. Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan eased to a comfortable 21-10, 21-17 victory over Indonesian duo Mohammad Ahsan and Rian Agung Saputro.

Women's pair Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan beat Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota of Japan to add a second gold for China, and their overall tally of two golds, two silvers and three bronzes saw them finish atop the medal table.

Indonesia then claimed their first gold of this year's tournament at the very last opportunity, triumphing over China in the mixed doubles thanks to newly crowned champions Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir.

Lin came into this year's championship seeking his sixth world crown but was denied at the final hurdle when Axelsen proved the superior first-place candidate on the day, winning in back-to-back games.

The Chinese contender had not lost a final in five trips to this fixture over a 12-year span, but Axelsen won the first game after pulling back the momentum midway through.

Lin held his Danish foe at arm's length for much of the opening exchanges but lost four successive points from 20-19 up, giving up his opportunity at game point and failing to come back into the match after that.

The second game was far easier for Axelsen, who trailed for all of two points before taking a 3-2 lead from which he never dropped back en route to a 21-16 win. Sponsors Yonex captured his moment of victory:

Axelsen became the first European world champion since 1997, but Okuhara ensured Asia retained some grip in the singles, though that was already inevitable in that Indian's Sindhu was her opponent.

In a match that lasted one hour and 50 minutes, Japan's champion pulled through to win the first game 21-19 and the third game 22-20, and the Premier Badminton League testified to the tightness of the fixture:

Sindhu levelled with a 22-20 win of her own in the middle game, which was one of the more one-sided sections of a match that saw the players trade leads on 11 occasions across three games.

Great Britain representative Lauren Smith was witness to a match that will undoubtedly go down as one of, if not the best in the tournament:

Liu and Zhang led China's men's team to gold in Glasgow after a dominant performance against Indonesians Ahsan and Saputro, and they trailed just once across both games in a match that lasted only 37 minutes, per the tournament's official website.

The 2017 BWC Twitter account provided reaction from China's women's doubles duo Qingchen and Yifan, who defeated Japan in three games and let Fukushima and Hirota with silver:

Chen was soon back in order for the mixed doubles alongside Siwei Zheng, but they fell victim to a match-deciding third-game capitulation, losing to Ahmad and Natsir of Indonesia 21-15, 16-21, 21-15.

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