SWEDISH INT’L Day 2 – Victory for Viktor and a new star is born

As the Swedish International eased its way into the quarter finals in the fantastic Eriksdalshallen in Stockholm there was only one name on everyone lips as they left the arena […]


As the Swedish International eased its way into the quarter finals in the fantastic Eriksdalshallen in Stockholm there was only one name on everyone lips as they left the arena this evening, that name being Viktor Axelsen, the Danish wonder kid who beat home favourite Henri Hurskainen in this his first major international event.
Photos and article by Mark Phelan, Live in Stockholm.

For months now and since the European Juniors last year, the name of Viktor Axelsen (pictured left) has been muted as the next big star to emerge from Denmark. Today the 16-year-old Dane confirmed that expectation as he exploded onto the EBU tour in his first major international event by beating Swedish no. 1 Henri Hurskainen to book a quarter-final spot. The young Dane, oblivious to the notoriety he has gained, stormed through qualification before beating Hurskainen in three and seeing off fellow Dane Sune Gavnholt to reach the quarter-final.
“I didn’t feel any pressure on court today and I think that Henri felt more pressure in front of his home crowd. I played well and I now look forward to a quarter final with Kasper Ispen whom I have never played before,” said Axelsen after his victory.
Axelsen has even been muted as being the new ‘Peter Gade’ and judging from what many have been saying and by his performance so far this week, there is no reason why he should not fulfil that fate. swe10_round2_bibik
“After winning the European juniors, many have said I have the ability to be the best in Europe and be the new Peter Gade. For me, I just focus on my own game and others may be putting that pressure on me but I’m just concentrating on playing my badminton and developing my game,” commented a rather relaxed Axelsen.
Elsewhere, Hans Kristian Vittingus confirmed his status as number one seed by comfortably easing his way into the quarter-finals. The Dane’s expected second round match against good friend Scott Evans didn’t materialise as the Irish number one went down in three to Lester Oey of the Netherlands in the opening round.
The women’s singles threw up few surprises with Ella Diehl confirming her number 1 status with wins over Thamar Peters and Anna Hald, who now plays under the Greek flag after switching from Denmark.. Fellow Russian Tatjana Bibik (pictured right), with her all action style, cruised through to the quarter-finals with double victories over French pair Matias and Lebuhanic.
The story of the women’s singles so far has been the passage of qualifier Rong Bo from China.  The diminutive Chinese player has blown away all before her on her way to a quarter final match-up with Bibik.  Two explosive players with explosive style!
swe10_round2_koldingconradThe mixed doubles has only one seed left at quarter-final stage, Atrashenkov and Prus the only pair left with a number after their name. Polish pair Cwalina and Kurdeleska have impressed and are sure to offer up a stiff challenge to the Ukrainians in the quarterfinals. Elsewhere, the Irish Magee Siblings continue to progress with every competition and are sure to fancy their chances against De Ruiter and Jonathans in tomorrow’s quarter-finals.
In the men’s doubles, multiple EBU winners Mads Kolding and Conrad (pictured left) confirmed their 2009 form as they cruised into the quarter-finals in a 2-set demolition of fellow Danes Bue and Linskow.  The pretenders to men’s doubles Danish throne, although seeded number 2, must be red hot favourites to lift the title the 7th for them in a year, come Sunday evening.

For all results click HERE

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