Badminton: Lin wins Japan Open men's singles crown, Okuhara takes women's title

Lin Dan of China celebrating after defeating Denmark's Viktor Axelsen in the men's singles final match at the Japan Open Superseries badminton tournament in Tokyo on Sept 13, 2015.
Lin Dan of China celebrating after defeating Denmark's Viktor Axelsen in the men's singles final match at the Japan Open Superseries badminton tournament in Tokyo on Sept 13, 2015.PHOTO: AFP
Japan's Nozomi Okuhara celebrating after scoring a point against compatriot Akane Yamaguchi during their women's singles final match at the Japan Open Superseries badminton tournament in Tokyo on Sept 13, 2015.
Japan's Nozomi Okuhara celebrating after scoring a point against compatriot Akane Yamaguchi during their women's singles final match at the Japan Open Superseries badminton tournament in Tokyo on Sept 13, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Chinese badminton legend Lin Dan won the men's singles title in the Japan Open on Sunday with victory over Viktor Axelsen.

The fifth-seeded Lin, a two-time Olympic gold-medallist and five-time world champion, defeated the 21-year-old Dane, who was seeded seventh, 21-19, 16-21, 21-19.

The victory was significant as he sets his sights on a third consecutive men's singles title at Rio's 2016 Olympics.

Lin, who beat former world No. 1 and long-time rival Lee Chong Wei in the second round in Tokyo, suffered a setback in August with defeat at the hands of Denmark's Jan Jorgensen in the world championships quarter-finals in Indonesia.

"I am training hard to prepare for Rio - the Olympics is our main focus now - but I don't want to think too much at this moment about what I might achieve there," he said on the Rio Games website early this month.

In the women's singles final, local star Akane Yamaguchi, the winner of the Japan Open in 2013, failed to claim a second crown when she went down against compatriot Nozomi Okuhara.

Ninth seed Okuhara, who downed Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei in the semi-finals, defeated Yamaguchi 21-18, 21-12.

In the men's doubles final, top seeds Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong from South Korea beat China's Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan 21-19, 29-27.

But the Chinese won a second title in the women's doubles, as Zhao Yunlei and Zhong Qianxin beat Christinna Pedersen Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark 21-12, 21-16.

In the mixed doubles, Danes Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen upset the top-seeded Chinese pair of Zhang Nan and Zhao 17-21, 21-18, 23-21.