Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew wins Badminton World Championships men’s singles title
Loh Kean Yew is the first Singaporean to have achieved the feat.
Loh Kean Yew became Singapore’s first badminton world champion after winning the men’s singles final at the BWF 2021 World Championships.
The 24-year-old beat India’s Kidambi Srikanth 21-15, 22-20 in Huelva, Spain on Sunday (Dec 19).
The match was the second time the two players met on court. Kean Yew had not beaten world number 14 Srikanth prior to this clash.
The win caps a fantastic year for Kean Yew, who has beaten a number of higher-ranked players this year.
“I’m honoured to deliver this first gold for Singapore. I know many Singaporeans have been staying up to follow my progress, and I want to thank everyone for their support and for being a huge motivation,” said Kean Yew in an interview with The Straits Times.
In the match against Kidambi that lasted 43 minutes, Kean Yew had endured the pain from an ankle injury he sustained from his match with world number one Viktor Axelsen in the opening round of the tournament. Through grit and hard work, he managed to emerge victorious.
His victory was lauded by several prominent Singaporean figures.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated the shuttler in a Facebook post, writing: “Well done, Kean Yew! You do Singapore proud. Looking forward to your next success!”
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong said in a separate post: “What a match! Such superb play, powerful smashes, deft net play and drops, and such great mental fortitude. Great work Loh Kean Yew!”
Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Eric Chua added that he was “super proud” of Kean Yew’s achievement, and went as far to cheekily name Kean Yew as “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time) via a hashtag.
Even Singer JJ Lin congratulated Kean Yew in a series of Instagram Stories, calling him the “Pride of Singapore” in his caption.