Viktor Axelsen storms past Shi Yu Qi to make semis at Tokyo 2020

CHOFU, JAPAN - JULY 31: Viktor Axelsen of Team Denmark celebrates as he wins against Shi Yu Qi of Team China during a Men's Singles Quarterfinal match on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza on July 31, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
CHOFU, JAPAN - JULY 31: Viktor Axelsen of Team Denmark celebrates as he wins against Shi Yu Qi of Team China during a Men's Singles Quarterfinal match on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza on July 31, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The 2017 world champion saw off China's Shi Yu Qi to set up clash with surprise semi-finalist Kevin Cordon 

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen is through to the semi-finals at Tokyo 2020.

The world number two defeated China's Shi Yu Qi in straight sets, 21-13, 21-13, on Saturday (31 July) at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza.

Axelsen who is seeded third in the tournament is now just one win away from guaranteeing he improves on the bronze he won at Rio 2016.

The 2017 world champion will next play surprise semi-finalist Kevin Cordon from Guatemala for a place in the final.

The match will take place on Sunday, 1 August at 1300 JST.

You can follow all the action on our live blog.

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Axelsen in control

The Dane who is making his second Olympic Games appearance, was in complete control throughout the 41 minute encounter against Shi.

Axelsen took an early lead in the first game and the Chinese player was unable to find a response. After the mid-game interval, the Dane found another and gear surged ahead to clinch the opening game.

Shi who won gold at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games kept closer to his opponent at the start of the second game, but once again, the 2017 world champion picked up the pace after the halfway point to run away with the game and confirm his spot in the final four here in Tokyo.

CHOFU, JAPAN - JULY 31: Kevin Cordon of Team Guatemala celebrates as he wins against Heo Kwanghee of Team South Korea during a Men's Singles Quarterfinal match on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza on July 31, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
CHOFU, JAPAN - JULY 31: Kevin Cordon of Team Guatemala celebrates as he wins against Heo Kwanghee of Team South Korea during a Men's Singles Quarterfinal match on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza on July 31, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
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The 34-year-old Cordon is enjoying a fairytale run at his fourth Olympic Games outing, having already seen off several players who are ranked higher than him.

In the group stage he shocked Hong Kong's Angus Ng Ka Long, and then defeated Mark Caljouw from the Netherlands followed by Heo Kwanghee from South Korea in his quarter-finals match.

Cordon has two Pan American Games gold medals and his best result at the world championships was in 2011 when he made it to the quarter-finals.

Viktor Axelsen will next play Kevin Cordon in the second men's singles semi-finals on Sunday (1 August) which starts from 1pm local time.