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Axelsen captures first Japan Open title

Viktor Axelsen of Denmark poses for photographers during the awards ceremony after his victory in the men’s singles final match over Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia at the Japan Open Badminton Championships in Tokyo on Sunday. (AFP)
TOKYO: World champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark beat Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei on Sunday to clinch his first Japan Open title.
Axelsen, who defeated two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China to bag the world title in Glasgow last month, edged out Lee 21-14, 19-21, 21-14 in the men’s singles final.
Lee, who has won the Japan Open six times including last year, narrowly took the second set but the Dane put in a brilliant performance to triumph in the third.
In the women’s singles Carolina Marin of Spain, last year’s Olympic gold medallist, overwhelmed He Bingjiao of China 23-21, 21-12.
Japan’s Rio Olympics gold medallists Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo beat South Korea’s Kim Ha-Na and Kong Hee-Yong 21-18, 21-16 in the women’s doubles final, to the delight of local fans at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
But Japanese male duo Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko suffered a 21-12, 21-15 defeat at the hands of Indonesians Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in the men’s doubles final.
In the mixed doubles, Chinese pair Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping overpowered Takuro Hoki and Sayaka Hirota of Japan 21-13, 21-8.