Danish cool no match for Spanish power in badminton

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Baku, June 28, AZERTAC

The men's badminton final at Baku Sports Hall was one of contrasts: whirlwind Pablo Abian facing ice-cool Dane Emil Holst, with the Spaniard coming out on top 21-12, 23-21.

The two finalists tested each other's defences in the opening points, trying to figure out which tactic would prove most successful.

Abian easily took the first set 21-12, and although Holst maintained his trademark stoney-faced expression, the 24-year-old Dane appeared to be suffering from some nerves.

In the second set Holst seemed to shake them off, however, and looked ready to take the final of the men's singles to a third and decisive set as he eased into a comfortable lead.

That was when Abian's resilience kicked in.

The 30-year-old Spaniard, who had admitted to struggling in the group stages, shifted into a higher gear, winning point after point and with it the support of the crowd.

At 20-19, no.3 seed Abian secured his first championship point, but Holst managed to save it, before missing an opportunity to take the set himself.

The second championship point proved too much for Holst, who couldn't fend off a furious barrage of smashes by Abian.

As the last shuttle hit the net, Abian fell to his knees: he had secured Spain's eighth gold at Baku 2015 and shown that he is the best European Badminton has to offer right now.

The bronze medals in the men's singles went to Dieter Domke of Germany and Lithuania's Kestutis Navickas, the losers of Saturday's semi-finals.

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