Badminton: S'porean Loh Kean Yew loses to world No. 2 Viktor Axelsen, finishes 2nd in Indonesia

An outstanding performance for the season.

Zi Shan Kow | November 28, 2021, 07:30 PM

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Singaporean badminton player Loh Kean Yew clinched second place at the Indonesia Open men's singles in Bali on Sunday, Nov. 28.

A meeting between master and apprentice

Loh, ranked world number 26, lost 13-21, 21-9, 13-21 to world number two and Olympic gold medallist Viktor Axelsen in the finals after a valiant match lasting 59 minutes.

This isn't the first time Loh and Axelsen crossed paths.

In August, 24-year-old Loh participated in a month-long training camp with Axelsen in Dubai, dubbing the match as a meeting between a master and an apprentice.

Loh also faced and lost 21-19, 21-14 to Axelsen in October in the first round of the Denmark Open in Odense in a match that lasted just 35 minutes.

As the runner-up of the men's singles event, Loh will bring home US$28,900 (S$39,600).

Despite the loss, Loh has made history by being the first Singaporean to qualify for the final of a Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 1000 event.

You can watch the highlights of the finals match here.

"Making history"

Singapore Badminton Association president Lawrence Leow congratulated both Loh and female shuttler Yeo Jia Min for their outstanding performance this season, and for "making history and earning their deserved places among world badminton’s elite".

He was also the first ever Singaporean male to win a Superseries/Super 500+ event, taking home US$24,000 (S$32,400) in prize money.

Loh was crowned champion at the Dutch Open in October, and then went on to win his first career BWF World Tour Super 500 title at the Hylo Open in Germany earlier in November.

Enroute to the Indonesia Open finals, Loh also dealt an unexpected defeat to world number one Kento Momota.

"I can attest to the many hours of toil our shuttlers put in, the many months they spend away from their families training and competing overseas," said Leow.

"These last two years were especially tough as they had to also spend weeks in quarantine whenever they travelled...Kean Yew and Jiamin deserve all the credit for a fantastic season," added Leow.

Having played multiple tournaments in Europe and then in Indonesia, Loh will be headed to Spain for the world championships in December.

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Top image via Sport Singapore/FB.