Loh Kean Yew Defeats Viktor Axelsen 14-21, 21-9, 21-6 At BWF World Championship
In late November, Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew’s good run of form at the Indonesia Open was stopped by one of Loh’s familiar foes—Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen.
The pair had trained together in Dubai for a month.
However, it appears the loss did not demoralise Loh. Instead, it made him even more determined than before.
On Monday (13 Dec), Loh stunned the badminton world when he defeated Axelsen over 3 games at the BWF World Championships held in Spain.
With the victory, Loh proceeds to the round of 32, where he will face Austria’s Luka Wraber.
Loh Kean Yew concedes exhilarating 1st game to Axelsen
On Monday (13 Dec), the 24-year-old added reigning Olympic champion and world number 1 Viktor Axelsen to the ‘hit list’.
Loh, currently ranked 22nd, got off to a poor start in the first game and was down 5-0 at one point.
While Loh could close the gap, Axelsen entered the mid-game interval 11-9 with a 2-point advantage.
The remainder of the game was played at a tremendous pace, with both offensive players exchanging blow after blow.
The highlight of the match came at the 14-10 mark, where an out-of-position Loh pulled off a diving save, which saw him flat on the ground at one point.
Within a fraction of a second, the 24-year-old got back up his feet to play a late backhand shot but was promptly put away by the tall Dane.
However, it was not to be for Loh as the Olympic champion sealed the opening game 21-14.
Loh closes 2nd & 3rd games convincingly
The games that followed were a stark contrast to the opening one.
Having seemingly found his form, Loh ended both games decisively, with the Olympic champion only racking up single-digit scores — 21-9, 21-6.
After 54 gruelling minutes, Loh celebrated the upset with a large grin on his face.
First victory over Axelsen in 5 games
The game was Loh’s first victory over his Danish competitor, having lost to him on 4 other occasions—the most recent being the Indonesia Open in late November.
When the draw for the World Championships was released, Loh jokingly told The New Paper about how suay he was to have drawn Axelsen for his first-round match.
I like to be the underdog lah, but why always him?
Following the Tokyo Olympics in August, Loh was invited to Dubai for a 1-month training camp with Axelsen and 4 other shuttlers from around the world.
Loh will face 93rd-ranked Luka Wraber in the round of 32 on Wednesday (15 Dec). Meanwhile, fellow Singaporean shuttler Yeo Jia Min will face Scotland’s Kristy Gilmour today (14 Dec).
Congrats, Kean Yew!
Congratulations to Loh for the victory. We hope he recovers well and will progress far in the competition.
Hopefully, the recent run of good form will propel Loh to greater heights and see him compete for the top badminton trophies and prizes more regularly.
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