Olympics: Danish badminton player and bronze medal winner Viktor Axelsen impresses with command of Mandarin

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen returning against China's Chen Long during their men's singles semi-final.
Denmark's Viktor Axelsen returning against China's Chen Long during their men's singles semi-final.PHOTO: AFP

Danish badminton player Viktor Axelsen, 22, has impressed at the Rio Olympic Games.

On court, he won the bronze medal against China's Lin Dan on Saturday (Aug 20), and off the court, he has become a viral hit in China with his impressive command of Mandarin.

His post-match interview with China's CCTV - during which he answered questions in Mandarin and which was also shared on the Badminton Live News Facebook page - has more than 700,000 views and more than 14,000 shares as of Saturday evening.

In the video, the world No. 4 was analysing his semi-final match with China's Chen Long on Friday (Aug 19), which he lost 21-14, 21-15.

"Chen Long's condition was good, and he did not give me many chances," he said. "I have to see where I can improve."

He also said he was disappointed with the result, but he looked forward to his match with Lin Dan for the bronze medal.

Lin lost to Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei in their semi-final 15-21, 21-11, 22-20.

The Chinese reporter told Axelsen that he has many fans in China, which the Dane has no doubt pleased with his fluent grasp of a language many have found challenging.

Axelsen told Reuters last year that learning the language will help him secure sponsorship and potential coaching jobs when he retires from the game.

He began learning it in 2014.

"I hope that it will open some doors in Asia with sponsorship and work," he said then.

Most top badminton players hail from Asia, and the sport is popular here.