Loh Kean Yew Qualifies For Prestigious Badminton World Tour Finals For The 1st Time
On Wednesday (16 Nov), Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew took on Australia’s Low Pit Seng at the Australia Open 2022, winning two sets.
While it might have been a routine victory for him, the win secured him a place at the prestigious Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Finals.
The tournament features only the year’s eight best performers.
Loh is now Singapore’s very first male player to make it into the World Tour Finals, reported The Straits Times (ST).
Loh Kean Yew qualifies for World Tour Finals after Australia win
Fresh off being crowned Singapore’s Sportsman of the Year and being ranked third in the world, Loh cruised to an easy victory in the first round of the Australia Open on Wednesday (16 Nov).
He beat 427th-ranked Low Pit Seng 21-10 and 21-9 within just 26 minutes.
It was a routine win, but one that spelled another breakthrough in Loh’s career.
With the victory, he qualified for the BWF World Tour Finals, becoming the first Singaporean male player to ever do so.
According to ST, only the top eight players in the singles and doubles qualify for the season-ender.
Back in 2021, shuttler Yeo Jiamin became the first player from Singapore to achieve the feat.
Entered quarter-finals in 11 events
Loh’s ticket to the finals comes after a rather successful tour of competitions in Europe in what has been another breakthrough year for the shuttler.
While he has not won a tournament, he made it to at least the quarter-finals in 11 out of 15 events, noted ST.
His consistent performance has helped him secure a spot in the World Tour Finals.
His competitors in the tournament are Denmark’s world number one and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen, Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen, India’s H. S. Prannoy, Indonesians Jonatan Christie and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting as well as Japan’s Kodai Naraoka.
The last remaining spot will either go to China’s Lu Guang Zu or Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia.
They will be facing each other in the second round of the Australia Open should they advance.
This means that only one of them has a chance to overtake Loh.
Might be joined by Terry Hee & Jessica Tan
The World Tour Finals will be taking place from 14 to 18 Dec 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand.
It was originally scheduled to take place in Guangzhou from 7 to 11 December but was moved due to China’s Covid-19 situation.
Singapore’s Commonwealth Games gold medalists Terry Hee and Jessica Tan might also be joining Loh at the event.
In their opening round in Australia, the mixed doubles pair beat Taiwan’s Lee Jhe-huei and Hsu Ya-ching 21-10, 21-16.
They will face South Korea pair Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yu-jung in the second round on 17 Nov.
Terry Hee and Jessica Tan currently rank 12th in their category, reported Yahoo News.
Should they secure the Australian Open title, they will be on their way to Bangkok for the World Tour Final.
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