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Loh Kean Yew is one win away from making his first World Tour Finals

Singaporean shuttler Loh Kean Yew celebrates defeating Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama at the French Open.
Singaporean shuttler Loh Kean Yew celebrates defeating Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama at the French Open. (PHOTO: Shi Tang/Getty Images) (Shi Tang via Getty Images)

UPDATE: Loh Kean Yew rose to a career-high No.3 in the BWF world rankings on Tuesday (8 November), up from No.5 in the previous week. This is the first time a Singaporean shuttler has reached the top three in the world rankings.

SINGAPORE — Loh Kean Yew needs just one more victory on the Badminton World Tour to qualify for the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals for the first time in his career.

In the latest World Tour rankings released on Monday (7 November), the Singaporean shuttler has entered the top eight, as he earned a total of 56,490 tour points in 2022, following his Hylo Open quarter-final performance in Germany last week.

Only the top eight shuttlers in each category - men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles - qualify for the World Tour Finals, which will be played in Guangzhou from 14 to 18 December.

Loh, 25, had been hovering just outside the top eight men's singles spots for a couple of months. A good run last month - in which he made the Denmark Open semi-finals, as well as the French Open and Hylo Open quarter-finals - gave the former world champion the push finally entered the top eight.

With just the Australian Open left in the calendar before the World Tour Finals, Loh has to hang on to his seventh spot. To confirm his qualification, he has to win his first-round match at the Australian Open, which will be held in Sydney from 15 to 20 November.

The world No.5 has been drawn to face India's world No.45 Mithun Manjunath in the opening round.

In fact, according to the Badminton Talk website, Loh can qualify just by playing at the Australian Open, if Malaysian rival Lee Zii Jia - who is currently in ninth place - does not reach the quarter-finals in Sydney, or if eighth-placed Lu Guangzu of China does not win his first-round tie.

According to the BWF World Tour, the top five men's singles players on the World Tour ranking have already qualified for the season-ender: Denmark's Viktor Axelsen, Taiwan's Chou Tien-chen, India's H.S. Prannoy, and Indonesia's Jonatan Christie and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.

Japan's Kodai Naraoka is in sixth spot just ahead of Loh, with 58,120 points. He will confirm qualification just by playing at the Australian Open.

Loh could become to second Singaporean shuttler to qualify for the World Tour Finals, after women's shuttler Yeo Jia Min made it to the 2021 edition in Bali.

On Tuesday, Loh rose to a career-high No.3 in the BWF world rankings on Tuesday (8 November), up from No.5 in the previous week. This is the first time a Singaporean shuttler has reached the top three in the world rankings.

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