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Badminton

WATCH: Lakshya Sen and Viktor Axelsen exchange shirts in true sportsmanship spirit after All England 2022 Finals

Just like Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan at the Rio Olympics semifinals, Viktor Axelsen also exchanged shirts with Lakshya Sen in a goodwill gesture after winning the All England Open 2022.

Lakshya Sen and Viktor Axelsen exchanged shirts after the All England Open 2022 final and exemplified true sportsmanship spirit
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Lakshya Sen and Viktor Axelsen exchanged shirts after the All England Open 2022 final and exemplified true sportsmanship spirit (Source: Voot)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 20 March 2022 6:28 PM GMT

Lakshya Sen's giant-killing spree was brought to a halt by the great Dane - Viktor Axelsen as the reigning Olympic champion and World No. 1 humbled Lakshya, 21-10, 21-15 to win his second All England Open crown, in what was his fourth straight final at Birmingham.

Being ruthless right from the start to the finish, Axelsen didn't give Sen any room to make his damage as he kept a strong lead from the beginning, with gaps as glaring as a 10-point cushion.

Lakshya Sen and Viktor Axelsen hug it out after the match (Source: Voot)

This is not to say that it was all one-way traffic because there were some mad rallies (70 shots!) contested as well, Lakshya trying to draw Axelsen to the net while Axelsen using brute power to kill the smashes - it was a thriller alright but Sen's form was not the absolute best and the nerves of playing at a BWF Super 1000 final, must have got to him.

Just as Viktor Axelsen converted the match point opportunity on his fourth try, he laid down flat-straight on the court, exhausted, overwhelmed, overjoyed as a dejected but equally tired Sen waited on the other side of the net.

Rising quickly to his feet, the 28-year-old Dane rushed over to Sen and the two hugged it out before Axelsen indicated an exchange of shirts as an act of true respect for his opponent, creating a beautiful moment of sportsmanship on the court.

Meanwhile, Axelsen's toddler daughter, Vega, also erupted in joy in the stands, clapping wildly for Axelsen as he extended his reign as best player currently on the tour, proudly placed at the perch spot of No. 1.

Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan exchange shirts at the 2016 Rio Olympics semi-final

Bringing to memory the epic Lin Dan vs Lee Chong Wei semi-final at the 2016 Rio Olympics where the Malaysian had lost, 15-21, 21-11, 22-20, before they exchanged shirts and created a classic moment in sports history, honouring their sports rivalry.

In a similar mood, the All England Open 2022 final was a match where talent recognised talent, making the shirt exchange between Lakshya and Axelsen a special and memorable affair.

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