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Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew reaches badminton World Championships final after defeating world No 3

SINGAPORE — Badminton player Loh Kean Yew beat world number 3 Anders Antonsen on Saturday (Dec 18) to book his place in the BWF World Championships final.

Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew reaches badminton World Championships final after defeating world No 3

Singapore's Loh Kean Yew beat Anders Antonsen of Denmark 23-21, 21-14 in the BWF World Championships men’s singles semi-finals in Huelva, Spain, on Dec 18, 2021.

SINGAPORE — Badminton player Loh Kean Yew beat world number 3 Anders Antonsen on Saturday (Dec 18) to book his place in the BWF World Championships final.

The Singaporean world number 22 overcame the Dane 23-21, 21-14 in the men’s singles semi-finals at the tournament in Huelva, Spain.

The match was the first career meeting between both players. Loh will face India’s Kidambi Srikanth in the final on Sunday.

Arguably the form player of the tournament, Loh has had it his way for most of the World Championships. However, Antonsen seemed to have an answer for the Singaporean early on as he edged to an early lead.

But Loh rattled off five consecutive points to take an 11-8 lead going into the interval.

And just when Loh looked to have the first game in the bag, Antonsen saved five game points. But Loh kept his composure and took the first game.

While Antonsen and Loh were once again neck and neck early in the second set, a combination of excellent defence from the Singaporean and errors from the Dane saw Loh take an 11-7 interval lead.

The Dane attempted to mount a stirring comeback, but Loh pressed on to claim a historic victory.

Loh’s victory comes a day after the 24-year-old beat India’s H S Prannoy in straight games to guarantee himself of at least a joint-bronze.

In doing so, Loh wrote his name into the history books as the first Singaporean to ever win a medal at the BWF World Championships.

The victory marks the best finish for a Singaporean in any edition of the World Championships.

Yeo Jia Min had reached the women’s singles quarter-finals in the previous edition of the World Championships, while Ronald Susilo was also eliminated in the same stage in 2007.

The mixed doubles pair of Chayut Triyachart and Yao Lei also reached the quarters in 2011, while Jiang Yanmei and Li Yujia also achieved the same feat in 2007 for the women’s doubles.

Earlier in the tournament, Loh upset world number one Viktor Axelsen in the first round, before going on to cruise past Austria's Luka Wraber in 25 minutes.

He then thrashed Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen in their round of 16 clash on Thursday, taking the match in just 30 minutes.

In the previous edition of the World Championships, Loh made the last 16 before being knocked out by Chou Tien-Chen.

Loh won his first career BWF World Tour Super 500 title at the Hylo Open last month. He also took the Dutch Open crown in October. CNA

For more stories like this, visit cna.asia

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