There’s no denying that sporting rivalries, at times, go a little out of hand. We have seen opponents battling it out, even physically, particularly on football fields. Sledging is pretty common in cricket. But for every unpalatable moment on the field, there are far better and far more emotional moments that leave you overwhelmed and wanting to watch the sport even more. There have already been quite a few such instances in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. Let’s talk about the one we witnessed last night.
After the conclusion of the men’s singles badminton final, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen exchanged his shirt with China’s Chen Long as a mark of respect for his opponent. Mr Axelsen bagged the gold after defeating Mr Long, who claimed the title in Rio back in 2016.
The official account of Olympics 2020 has shared the beautiful moment on Twitter. “During the men’s singles badminton final last night, Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark traded shirts with silver medallist Chen Long of China as a symbol of respect to his opponent,” the tweet read. It then asked the viewers to take a look at the tweet below to know the origins of this tradition in badminton.
This tradition at the Olympics began five years ago when Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei and the double Olympic champion from China, Lin Din, swapped their shirts in the men’s singles semi-final at Rio. After the game, the two players embraced each other and exchanged their jerseys. “Take a look at the beginning of the tradition between legendary Malaysian Badminton player Lee Chong Wei, and double Olympic champion from China, Lin Dan,” read the tweet from the official handle of Olympics 2020.