Viktor Axelsen set to become the new World No. 1 following Japan Open win
Danish shuttler Viktor Axelsen continues to impress in the higher echelons of the sport. The 23-year-old Odense-born player backed up his maiden World Championships victory with a win at the Japan Open Super Series in Tokyo on Sunday where he outlasted six-time champion Lee Chong Wei, 21-14, 19-21, 21-14 in the summit clash in 1 hour 15 minutes.
With his latest achievement, Axelsen is set to accomplish yet another monumental feat as he will dethrone the Korean Son Wan Ho from the World No. 1 spot when the new BWF World Rankings will be released on September 28, 2017.
He will be the first European since Peter Gade in 2006 to climb to the pinnacle of the rankings.
The World No. 2 Dane had bowed out in the quarter-finals of the Japan Open last year to the sixth seeded Son Wan Ho where he had amassed 5040 points. This time, on winning he bagged a staggering 9200 points.
On deduction of the 5040 points from his total tally of 72040 and a further addition of 9200 to it, he is set to have 76200 points which takes him past the current No. 1 Son Wan Ho.
Meanwhile, Son Wan Ho had made it to the semi-finals last year, crashing out to the Danish third seed Jan O Jorgensen. With a semi-final loss to the eventual champion Axelsen this year, he defended the 6420 points he earned last year.
So, his total points tally remains static at 73388 and that pushes him down to No. 2.
Axelsen on a roll since Rio medal
Axelsen has been on a roll ever since he upset the legendary Lin Dan to grab the bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games last year. Touted as one of the biggest emerging talents in the sport for quite some time, the former world junior champion underlined his credentials with that medal and kept building on it further.
He ended his Super Series drought in December by winning the biggest of them all at the World Super Series Finals in Dubai. He added the India Open Super Series title this year to his illustrious resume after failing to cross the final hurdle the last two years.
At the Glasgow World Championships, he produced a stunning display to prevail over the former five-time world champion Lin Dan for his maiden glory.
His exploits have certainly established him as the world’s current best player, without a shadow of doubt.