Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew rises to 5th in world rankings

He was ranked 39th in the world just about a year ago.

Ernest Cheng

Has an unhealthy obsession with iced lemon tea.

Published: 5 October 2022, 6:06 PM

Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew has moved into the top five of the badminton global rankings for the first time in his career, making him the highest-ranked Singaporean men’s single player in history. 

In the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) world rankings released on Oct 4, Loh Kean Yew climbed two places to fifth, above Japanese shuttler Kento Momota, who dropped to seventh. 

This eclipses the previous record set by Ronald Susilo, who was ranked sixth in 2004.

The 2021 world champion currently sits on 81,594 points, behind Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen, Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia, as well as Denmark’s Anders Antonsen and Viktor Axelsen.

Although Loh was ranked 39th in the world about a year ago, a series of impressive performances towards the end of 2021 propelled him up the rankings. He managed to clinch the Dutch Open crown in October, as well as his first BWF World Tour Super 500 title at the Hylo Open and a second place finish in the Indonesia Open’s Men’s Singles in November.

Loh went on a fairytale run in December 2021 en route to capturing the BWF World Championships title, defeating India’s Kidambi Sirkanth in the final. He also overcame the Danish duo of Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen and Andres Antonsen, who are currently placed first and second respectively in the world rankings. 

However, he failed to defend his title in this year’s edition of the tournament as he was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn. 

Loh was also recognised in the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list for Entertainment & Sports this year. In September, he became Grab Singapore’s first-ever brand ambassador.

Loh is set to face Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin in the opening match of the Denmark Open later this month. 

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