Loh Kean Yew shocks world No.1 Viktor Axelsen at BWF World Championships

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Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew
Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew. (PHOTO: Reuters/Leonhard Foeger)

SINGAPORE — For the second time in a space of three weeks, Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew has stunned the world No.1 men's singles player at a major badminton tournament.

Whereas the 24-year-old had defeated Japan's Kento Momota at the Indonesia Open on 25 November, he has taken the scalp of the new world No.1 Viktor Axelsen at the season-ending Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships in Huelva, Spain on Monday (13 December).

The Singaporean shuttler, ranked world No.22, upset the reigning Olympic champion 14-21, 21-9, 21-6 in the opening round of the prestigious tournament to advance into the round of 32, where he will face Austria's world No.93 Luka Wraber.

This was Loh's first career win over the Dane, who had beaten him in three sets at the Indonesia Open final.

Axelsen was also instrumental in the Singaporean's dramatic uptick in form after the Tokyo Olympics in August, when he invited Loh to train with him for a month in Dubai.

Following that stint, Loh went on a tear, first winning the Dutch Open in October, then clinching his first career BWF World Tour Super 500 title at the Hylo Open in Germany last month. His superb run at the Indonesia Open marked the first time he had qualified for the final of a BWF World Tour Super 1000 event.

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