Badminton: Axelsen tests positive for Covid, forfeits European badminton final

Axelsen will remain in hotel room quarantine in Kiev. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

COPENHAGEN (AFP) - Badminton world No. 2 Viktor Axelsen was forced to withdraw from Sunday's (May 2) final of the European Championship in Kiev after testing positive for Covid-19.

Axelsen was to face fellow Dane Anders Antonsen, who claimed his first European title with a walkover.

"Top seed and defending champion Viktor Axelsen returned a second positive test for Covid-19, ruling him out of contesting the men's singles final of the 2021 European Championships today," Badminton Denmark announced on Sunday.

It said the 27-year-old Axelsen returned a first positive test after beating Finn Kalle Koljonen in the semi-finals on Saturday and must isolate in Kiev.

"He will remain in hotel room quarantine for the next 13 days."

Axelsen, a singles bronze medallist at the Rio Olympics, said he was in good health.

"There is no doubt that there is nothing I would rather do than stand in the final today against Anders," the statement quoted Axelsen as saying.

"I am also really sorry that it will take another two weeks before I can come home and see my family again," he added.

"These are the conditions we have to play under in this time where isolation and quarantine is a risk that we know is present when we compete. I still feel no symptoms of illness and am otherwise in good spirits."

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