Is Viktor Axelsen Already One of the Greatest?

Victor Axelsen during a smash
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Last Updated on 08/11/2023 by Kriss

The world of badminton has seen a plethora of greats grace its court – players whose skill, finesse, and sheer determination have etched their names in the annals of the sport. One name that has been dominating the world of badminton lately, is that of Viktor Axelsen. The Danish badminton prodigy has been a spectacle to behold, consistently demonstrating immense skill and determination in every match he plays. This inevitably begs the question: Is Viktor Axelsen already one of the greatest badminton players?

At first glance, it might seem presumptuous to place Axelsen among legends such as Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, or Peter Gade. Still, a deeper exploration into his achievements, skill set, and impact on the sport presents a compelling argument.

The Start of a Stellar Journey

Born on January 4, 1994, Viktor Axelsen showed an affinity for badminton at a young age. He quickly ascended the ranks in his homeland of Denmark, and by the age of 16, he had won the World Junior Championships – a feat he achieved again the following year. Such accomplishments at a tender age hinted at the stellar career that was yet to unfold.

Surpassing Expectations: Axelsen’s Remarkable Achievements

Axelsen’s talent did not stay confined within the junior circuit. As he transitioned to senior tournaments, he carried with him the same winning streak. His breakthrough year came in 2014 when he clinched his first Superseries title in Switzerland. But it was the 2016 Rio Olympics that catapulted Axelsen to international fame. A bronze medal at the Olympics not only marked Denmark’s return to the Olympic badminton podium but also signaled the arrival of a new star.

In the following years, Axelsen managed to bag several prestigious titles, including the 2017 BWF World Championships, the 2018 European Championships, and the 2020 All England Open – one of the oldest and most revered tournaments in badminton. His consistent performance over the years has ensured a solid presence in the BWF top rankings, further solidifying his stature in the sport.

Lee Chong Wei Smash
Is Axelsen on the level with legends like Lee Chong Wei?

Comparing Axelsen to The Greatest of All Time

Comparing Viktor Axelsen to the all-time greats of badminton is both interesting and challenging. Legends like Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, and Peter Gade have left an indelible mark on the sport, each with their unique style, impeccable records, and lasting impact.

These players have consistently outperformed their opponents, won numerous titles, and revolutionized badminton with their skill and charisma. In the table below we tried to capture each of their careers in numbers:

GamesMajor Achievements
322 Wins
78 Losses
1. Olympic Games:
– Gold (2020), Bronze (2016)
2. World Championships:
– Gold (2017)
– Silver (2015)
– Bronze (2014, 2018, 2019)
3. European Championships:
– Gold (2016, 2018)
713 Wins
134 Losses
1. Olympic Games:
– Silver (2008, 2012, 2016)
2. World Championships:
– Silver (2011, 2013, 2015)
3. Asian Championships:
– Gold (2006, 2016)
Lin Dan666 Wins
128 Losses
1. Olympic Games:
– Gold (2008, 2012)
2. World Championships:
– Gold (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
– Silver (2005)
– Bronze (2017)
3. Asian Games:
– Gold (2010)
– Silver (2006)
– Bronze (2002, 2014)
Peter Gade517 Wins
155 Losses
1. Olympic Games:
– none
2. World Championships:
– Silver (2001)
– Bronze (1999, 2005, 2010, 2011)
3. European Championships:
– Gold (1998, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2010)
Comparison of Badminton Legends

Axelsen already boasts an impressive nine major medals including a Gold at the 2020 Olympics. Chong Wei’s career is marked by sheer persistence, with 713 wins and 46 Superseries wins. Despite never achieving an Olympic Gold, his triple Silver displays an admirable fighting spirit. Lin Dan, often hailed as THE greatest, showcases his prowess with 13 major medals, including dual Olympic Golds. His 666 victories and 21 Superseries wins testify to a storied career. Lastly, Gade, though without an Olympic medal, shines in European Championships with five Golds, and matches Axelsen in Superseries victories. While Chong Wei and Lin Dan lead in total wins and major medals but remember that Axelsen still has a few years to catch up.

Although Axelsen has achieved a great deal in a relatively short period, he will need to sustain his performance and continue his winning ways to solidify his place among badminton’s greatest.

Viktor Axelsen: A Legend in the Making?

Given his undeniable talent, multiple achievements, and impact on the sport, it’s clear that Axelsen’s career trajectory is extraordinary. Yet, the question remains: Is he already one of the greatest?

Some might argue that it’s too early to label him as one of the all-time greats. After all, legends are defined not only by their talent but also by their longevity, their ability to consistently perform at the top level, and their influence on the sport during and after their active years. Comparing Axelsen to legends like Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei – who have showcased sustained excellence over nearly two decades, amassing multiple world titles and Olympic medals in the process – presents a high bar.

Yet, there is no denying that Axelsen is on an exceptional path. His list of achievements is already impressive and continues to grow. Moreover, his influence on the game, especially in inspiring a new generation of players and globalizing the appeal of badminton, mirrors the impact of the greats.


Is Viktor Axelsen already a true badminton legend? We at Badminton Journey say: Not yet.

The crucial factor for Axelsen will be time. As of now, Axelsen is in the prime of his career. If he continues on his current trajectory, maintaining his top form and adding more prestigious titles to his name, the day may not be far when he is unanimously hailed as one of the greatest in the sport of badminton.


BWF Super Series

Super Series Statistic

Viktor Axelsen

Lee Chong Wei

Lin Dan

Peter Gade

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