Badminton: Viktor Axelsen beats Olympic champion Chen Long to reach world final

Viktor Axelsen in action against Chen Long in the men's singles semi-finals of the BWF Badminton World Championships on Aug 26, 2017.
Viktor Axelsen in action against Chen Long in the men's singles semi-finals of the BWF Badminton World Championships on Aug 26, 2017. PHOTO: EPA

GLASGOW (AFP) - Denmark's Viktor Axelsen gained revenge over China's defending champion Chen Long in the World Championships semi-finals in Glasgow on Saturday.

In a surprisingly short match, the Danish third seed upset the Olympic champion 21-9, 21-10 in just 39 minutes and will now face either five-time champion Lin Dan or top seed Son Wan Ho in the final.

Chen had won the title in 2014 and 2015 and added the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro last year, beating Axelsen in the semi-finals on his way to glory.

"I am a little out of words," said Axelsen. "I never expected to win so comfortably and I am so very happy. I made very few mistakes today.

"It was nice to get revenge from the Olympic semi-finals. I am very proud of myself.

"Denmark is a small country, but I am very proud that we can compete with the bigger countries. It's a dream come true. Ever since I was a little boy, I dreamed of making a World Championships final."

Chen, who the fifth seed, said: "I will get some rest and get back for the National Chinese Championships. Viktor played very well.

"Yesterday, I was the last men's singles (match) on court and today I was the first. I need to get better at playing at a consistent level whenever I play."