Loh Kean Yew marches on at Indonesia Masters with comfortable last-16 win

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Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew smashes a shot at the SEA Games in Hanoi.
Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew smashes a shot at the SEA Games in Hanoi. (PHOTO: Sport Singapore/ Lim Weixiang)

SINGAPORE — Singapore's reigning badminton world champion Loh Kean Yew advanced comfortably into the quarter-finals of the Indonesia Masters on Thursday (9 June).

The world No.10 shuttler took 35 minutes to defeat Indonesia world No.46 Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo 21-11, 21-14 in his round-of-16 tie at the Istora Senayan stadium in Jakarta, rarely looking troubled after taking a 14-8 in the first set.

Loh will next face China's world No.26 Lu Guangzu in Friday's quarter-finals. Lu defeated South Korea's 33rd-ranked Heo Kwang-hee 21-12, 21-12 in his last-16 match.

Should Loh advance further, he will face either India's Lakshya Sen or Taiwan's Chou Tien-chen in the semi-finals. If he reaches the final, he could meet world No.1 Viktor Axelsen - whom he had beaten amid his memorable Badminton World Championships run last December - or his old childhood rival, Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia.

Loh had started the Super 500 tournament - which carries a total prize purse of US$360,000 (S$495,000) - with a 21-14, 21-13 win over France's world No.25 Toma Junior Popov on Wednesday.

This is his first tournament since earning two medals, a silver and a bronze, at the Hanoi SEA Games last month, when he lost to Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsam in the men's singles final after leading the Singapore men's team to third place in the team event.

Loh will be embarking on a busy schedule in the next couple of months, as he takes part in several top regional tournaments such as next week's Indonesia Open, the Malaysia Open at the end of the month and next month's Singapore Badminton Open.

He is also selected by the Singapore National Olympic Council to take part in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham at the end of July.

Loh is the sole remaining Singaporean shuttler left in the Indonesia Masters, after his brother Kean Hean and Terry Hee were knocked out of the men's doubles round-of-16, losing to Taiwan's Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin 21-23, 16-21.

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