Beijing: Olympic badminton champion Viktor Axelsen and former world No 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan triumphed on Sunday in their BWF World Tour Finals deciders in Hangzhou.
The 29-year-old Dane dominated China’s Shi Yuqi in straight sets 21-11, 21-12 in a one-sided men’s final of the year-ending Badminton World Federation (BWF) event in China’s east.
“I’m extremely proud and extremely tired,” said world No 1 Axelsen, who speaks fluent Chinese.
“My year has been extraordinary. It has also been marked by big disappointments,” he said, pointing to defeats in the All England Open and the World Championships on home soil.
“But a great sportsman gets up and recovers from disappointing experiences. And that’s what I managed to do. I’ve won some big titles, so I can’t be disappointed with this year,” he said.
In the women’s final, world No 4 Tai fought back to get the better of Spain’s Carolina Marin 12-21, 21-14, 21-18.
Marin is a former Olympic champion and the only European in the women’s world top 10. She made the final after a gripping, three-set defeat of China’s Chen Yufei, another Olympic champion, in Saturday’s semi-finals.
“I wasn’t able to train well before coming, so my preparation and performance here were not optimal,” Tai said.
“But when I saw the excellent form of Carolina Marin and Chen Yufei ... I told myself I had to grit my teeth and do my best to be able to compete,” she said.
In the men’s doubles, South Korean world champions Kang Min-hyuk and Seo Seung-jae overcame the Chinese pair of Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang 21-17, 22-20 to win the men’s doubles.
Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan gave the home crowd something to cheer about by beating South Korea’s Baek Ha-na and Lee So-hee 21-16, 21-16 to win the women’s doubles.
The mixed doubles title went to Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong with a 21-11, 21-18 defeat of Feng Yanzhe and Huang Dongping in an all-Chinese final.