Rio Olympics bronze medallist Viktor Axelsen is one of the favourites to win the gold at the Tokyo Olympics. But the Dane will possibly need to go through Japan’s world No. 1 Kento Momota in the semi-final to achieve his goal; he has lost to Momota in their last 13 encounters and the head-to-head record stands at 1-14.

Players generally have an advantage when a match is played in their home ground. Axelsen, however, feels that the absence of spectators at this year’s Olympics will take that advantage away from Momota.

Axelsen told TV2, “It is definitely a huge loss for the Olympics that there are no spectators…  It’s a shame, of course, but Japan is really good at badminton, so maybe it’s a small advantage for us that there are no spectators.

“I cannot imagine how it would be with thousands of Japanese (fans), if we are going up against them. Now it’s a little more equal on that front.”