Loh Kean Yew reaches Badminton World Championships q-finals after injured rival retires

Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew smashes a shot at the 2022 BWF World Championships in Tokyo.
Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew smashes a shot at the 2022 BWF World Championships in Tokyo. (PHOTO: Toru Hanai/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Loh Kean Yew negotiated another tricky hurdle in his Badminton World Championships men's singles title defence on Thursday (25 August), advancing over world No.11 Angus Ng after the Hong Kong player retired with injury.

The world No.8 Singaporean was already leading 21-11, 11-4 before Ng called time to the match, ending what had seemed to be Loh's biggest test so far in his title defence.

He is now the highest-ranked shuttler in his half of the men's singles draw, following the surprise eliminations of Japan's Kento Momota (world No.2), Denmark's Anders Antonsen (No.3) and Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia.

However, he faces another tricky opponent in the quarter-finals - Thailand's Kunlavit Vitidsarn, who defeated him in the SEA Games gold-medal match in May.

All Singapore doubles pairs eliminated

Singapore's doubles duos, however, found it tough going at the World Championships on Thursday, after superb performances earlier in the week.

Men's doubles pair Terry Hee and Loh Kean Hean, who had defeated higher-ranked opponents the last two rounds, could not make it third-time lucky against India's M.R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila.

The Singapore duo, ranked 41st in the world, started strongly but ran out of steam, as they fell to their world No.35 opponents 18-21, 21-15, 21-16 in 58 minutes.

Hee then had to play his fourth match in two days, as he teamed up with his wife Jessica Tan to face Hong Kong's Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet in the mixed doubles round of 16, a day after a gruelling 60-minute victory over 12th-seeded Japanese duo Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsumoto in the last-32.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallists fought valiantly, but were unable to fend off their world No.7 rivals, eventually succumbing 10-21, 15-21 in 30 minutes.

In the women's doubles, Jin Yujia and Crystal Wong were also eliminated by China's Zhang Shuxian and Zheng Yu, losing 15-21, 14-21 in 36 minutes.

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