World champion shuttler Axelsen pulls out of Japan Open badminton tournament

Newly-crowned world singles champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark announced on Monday to have withdrawn from the Japan Open, which is to kick off in Osaka on Tuesday.

Axelsen, also the Tokyo Olympic gold medallist, was originally scheduled to face Heo Kwanghee of South Korea in the first round. He decided to pull out of the tournament for health reasons, reports Xinhua.

“Disappointed to tell you all that I, unfortunately, won’t be able to compete this week in Osaka,” he said on social media.

“I have pushed myself a lot during my preparation and played through some pain during the World Championships which needs to get taken care of.”

“Even though I would have loved to jump back on court and fight once again this week, I have to respect my body. I will be putting my focus on my recovery right away and get back to full health before I push towards new goals.”

Axelsen won his second world badminton championship after beating first-time finalist Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand 21-5, 21-16 on Sunday.

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