Viktor Axelsen is looking to add the Sudirman Cup crown to his Olympic men's singles title ©Getty Images

Olympic gold medallist Viktor Axelsen is aiming to lead a "tricky" Denmark side to their first Badminton World Federation (BWF) Sudirman Cup title in Finnish city Vantaa.

Axelsen is on the crest of a wave after claiming the men’s singles crown at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last month.

The 2017 world champion now arrives at a star-studded Sudirman Cup where he will hope to inspire the Danish team to victory.

"The Olympics has given me a lot of motivation," said Axelsen.

"I’m feeling more calm and composed.

"I know what works and what doesn’t.

"It would be much to ask if I believe I can just come out there and play the same level I did at the Olympics.

"I’ll be ready to do my best.

"The Sudirman Cup is hard to win because we know that everything has to fall into place, everyone has to perform their best and we have to make some surprises along the way, and in key matches we cannot disappoint if we have to win so it’s tough.

"I want to win the Sudirman Cup, but it’s really tough, and if one match doesn’t go the way you hope to, then it will be tough."

Axelsen headlines a Danish team that includes Mia Blichfeldt, Kim Astrup, Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, Sara Thygesen and Maiken Fruergaard.

Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Bøje complete their side as the mixed doubles pairing.

Denmark will begin their campaign tomorrow with a clash with Canada, while they are also due to meet Indonesia and Russia in Group C.

"It’s obviously different while playing a team event," said Axelsen.

"I really enjoy it, to be honest, because it’s not often that we get to experience this team feeling (or) I should say being part of a team.

"The Danish team is a tricky one, we’re a tricky one to talk about because we can do really well I think, but obviously also we’re not the biggest favourites here.

"The key players have to perform, and we also have to make some surprises along the way. 

"But it’s nice to be here."

Defending champions China face Thailand, Finland and India in Group A, while Chinese Taipei, Germany, Tahiti and South Korea compete in Group B and England, Egypt, Japan and Malaysia feature in Group D.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the knockout stage, which is due to conclude with the final on October 3 at the Energia Areena.

Chen Yufei, who won women's singles gold at Tokyo 2020, is part of a strong Chinese team ©Getty Images
Chen Yufei, who won women's singles gold at Tokyo 2020, is part of a strong Chinese team ©Getty Images

China have won 11 of the 16 Sudirman Cup titles to date, with the nation triumphing in eight of the last nine editions of the mixed team competition.

They have named a strong team including Olympic women’s singles champion Chen Yufei and Chinese mixed doubles pairing of Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping who topped the podium at Tokyo 2020.

Lu Guang Zu, Li Shi Feng, He Bing Jiao and Wang Zhi Yi have also been named in the Chinese team, along with Liu Cheng, Feng Yan Zhe, He Ji Ting, and Tan Qiang.

Japan were the runners-up the last time the event was held in 2019.

The Japanese team will be represented by men’s world number one Kento Momota, as well as Nozomi Okuhara, Akane Yamaguchi, Mayu Matsumoto, Wakana Nagahara, Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino.

China was originally due to stage the Sudirman Cup.

But with China’s borders largely shut because of the coronavirus crisis, the tournament was moved to Vantaa.

Tomorrow sees China take on Finland and Thailand meet India in Group A, Chinese Taipei tackle Tahiti and South Korea face Germany in Group B and Indonesia facing Russia and Denmark going head-to-head with Canada in Group C.