Shuttler Loh Kean Yew claims biggest career win at Hylo Open in Germany

ODENSE, DENMARK - OCTOBER 20: Loh Kean Yew of Singapore competes in the Men's Singles first round match against Viktor Axelsen of Denmark on day two of the Denmark Open at Odense Sports Park on October 20, 2021 in Odense, Denmark. (Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Singapore national shuttler Loh Kean Yew in action, (PHOTO: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore's national shuttler Loh Kean Yew clinch the biggest badminton title of his career on Sunday (7 November), when he defeated reigning All-England champion Lee Zii Jia at the Hylo Open men's singles final in Saarbrucken, Germany.

The 24-year-old was leading 19-21, 21-13, 17-12 when his Malaysian opponent conceded the tie after suffering a back injury.

Loh thus earned his second professional title, and his first in the Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 500 level, which is the fourth tier on the professional badminton circuit.

In 2019, he had won the Thailand Masters - a Super 300 tournament - for his first title, memorably beating Chinese great Lin Dan.

The world No.39 has had a stellar week, beating a slew of higher-ranked opponents en route to winning the title. First he stunned Taiwanese world No.4 Chou Tien-chen in his opening round, then took the scalps of France’s world No.35 Toma Junior Popov, Denmark’s world No.13 Rasmus Gemke and India’s world No.21 Lakshya Sen, before beating world No.8 Lee for the title.

"This is a good milestone for my career and I will continue working hard to make sure there is more to come," Loh told The Straits Times after his win.

"It's good to be beating high-ranking opponents consistently and this was what I needed to develop. The next step would be to perform consistently well over a few tournaments."

Yeo Jia Min falls in final to higher-ranked Thai opponent

Loh's fellow national shuttler Yeo Jia Min, however, could not make it a double celebration at the Hylo Open, as the world No.26 came up short in the women's singles final, losing 10-21, 14-21 to Thailand's world No.14 Busanan Ongbamrungphan.

Yeo also had a good run in reaching her first Super 500 final, beating Taiwan's world No.39 Pai Yu-po, Indonesia's world No.23 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, Belgium's world No.38 Lianne Tan and Canada's world No.11 Michelle Li along the way.

Following the Hylo Open, Loh and Yeo thus completed a month of competitions around Europe, and will return to Asia to take part in the Indonesia Masters (16 to 21 November) and the Indonesia Open (23 to 28 November).

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