Scott Evans’ Olympic badminton journey has come to an end as Denmark’s world number 4 Viktor Axelsen proved too strong for the Irishman in their last 16 tie.
Evans won both of group games to advance to the knockout stages, but European Champion, Axelsen was a different class as he won 21-16, 21-12 to see of the gutsy Dublin. The Ireland men’s hockey team were in the arena to give much needed support and they greeted Evans on his arrival by taking their shirts off in a wild show of support.
Evans celebrated his 2-1 win over Brazillian Ygor Coelho de Oliveria why taking off his t-shirt and he hailed his amazing support he received throughout the clash with the Dane. He told RTE Sport ‘When I walked in and all the lads had their shirts off, I just love it’. He went on further to say ‘It gives you that bit extra to go on and just give it everything, I feel like I did well.
The match itself seen both players make unforced errors from the start. Evans showed his talent and moved the Dane around the court scoring some great points. But, if Evans was guilty of anything it was perhaps he was over ambitious, and a couple of poor shots handed Axelsen the initiative late in the opening game. The Dane took the opening game 21-16.
The second badminton set of the game Evans had to start fast. However, he had anything but as a run of six straight points had the European Champions in front 6-2. The Dane continued to put pressure on and the errors began to mount up for Dundrum man, Evans. The game was drifting away from him, however vocal support from the large Irish following helped him make a small comeback. With Axelsen two point away from victory, Evans became dominant but it was a case of too little too late as the Dane ran out a 21-12 winner in the second set.