Singaporean badminton players Loh Kean Yew and Yeo Jia Min qualify for the Olympics
It’s the first time at the Olympic Games for both shuttlers.
Two Singapore shuttlers will represent the country at the Tokyo Olympic Games, which is due to be held from Jul 23 to Aug 8.
Loh Kean Yew, 23, qualified for the men’s singles, while Yeo Jia Min, 22, qualified for the women’s singles.
In the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) Race to Tokyo rankings, Jia Min ranked 17th after competing in 17 tournaments, while Kean Yew ranked 18th after competing in 12 tournaments.
While the qualification period closes only on Jun 15, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the postponement of the May 11-16 India Open and May 25-30 Malaysia Open, as well as the cancellation of the Jun 1-6 Singapore Open.
With no other tournaments due to be held, Loh and Yeo secured their Olympic spots, with 38 places allocated for each singles event.
While both players had previously won medals at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, this would be their first time competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Singapore Badminton Association wrote in a Facebook post: “We are 100 per cent sure Kean Yew and Jia Min would do their very best and do all [of] us proud. Be sure to lend them your support!”
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong also sent his congratulations.
He wrote: “Really happy for these two, as they will now take their places against the world’s best shuttlers.
“I met them a few months ago on court, as they were training hard and looking so well – I am sure this news would have brought an even bigger smile to their faces!”