Axelsen, Carolina Victorious at Thailand Open

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After much uncertainty over the past one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, badminton resumed with much fireworks at the Yonex Thailand Open that ended on Sunday.

The curtains came down on the first of three tournaments on the Asian leg of the World Tour with some of badminton biggest names winning titles, setting the tone for a much anticipated season, which also include the Tokyo Olympics.

Denmark’s Victor Axelsen and Spain’s Carolina Marin were a class above the rest, bagging the men’s and women’s singles title, respectively.

Axelsen, clinched his second Super 1000 title on the trot after the Denmark Open last year, while reigning Olympic champion, Carolina finally ended her one-year title drought in emphatic fashion.

In the men’s singles final, Axelsen maintained his perfect head-to-head record over Hong Kong’s Angus Ng with a solid 21-14, 21-14 win, while Carolina thrashed Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying 21-9, 21-16.

“It was a tough game for us. We’ve used a lot of energy this week, physically and mentally. So I knew I had to be 110 per cent going into the final,” said Axelsen.

“And having not played for so long, really happy that I managed to win.

“There was pressure because you’re not really sure where you are physically and mentally, and also playing-wise, so it was nice for me to get tested here and to be in different situations where you have to step up, and I’m proud that I managed to do so,” he added.

Carolina, who struggled throughout the whole of last year recovering from a knee injury, thanked the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Thailand (BAT) for successfully hosting the first major tournament in months, under tight standard operating procedures.

“I want to say thank you to BWF and to Thailand and all the organisers, thanks to them we could start to play tournaments in this difficult time during the pandemic.

“I feel really happy that I could change my mind from last year; I had a difficult year personally in 2020, but I recovered well and my mind should decide what I want for the future, whether it’s the Olympics or World Championships.” Carolina told the world body after her victory.

The Asian leg will resume on Tuesday with the second Super 1000 event — the Toyota Thailand Open.



(All finals)

Men’s singles: Victor Axelsen (Den) bt Angus Ng (Hkg) 21-14, 21-14;

Doubles: Lee Yang-Wang Chi Lin (Tai) bt Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong 21-16, 21-23, 21-19;

Women’s singles: Carolina Marin (Spa) bt Tai Tzu Ying (Tai) 21-9, 21-16;

Doubles: Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu (Ina) bt Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha) 21-15, 21-12;

Mixed doubles: Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti (Ina) 21-3, 20-22, 21-18.

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