SINGAPORE: It was smooth sailing all the way for Loh Kean Yew, arguably the country’s best badminton player to date, at the first round of the Indonesia Open in Jakarta on Wednesday (June 14).
Showing fine form, Loh defeated Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo, 21-15, 23-21, in a 45-minute match, leading nearly all the way.
As of June 13, Loh, 25, is ranked fifth in the world, while Chico, 24, is ranked at 23rd. The highest Loh has ever ranked is third, on Nov 8, 2022, while Chico’s personal best ranking is 10th, on Jan 31 of this year.
Loh is scheduled to face China’s Li Shi Feng, 23, currently ranked 10th in the world, in the next round of the Open.
Last Thursday (June 8), he bowed out of the 2023 KFF Singapore Badminton Open at the Singapore Indoor Stadium after losing to France’s Christo Popov, 21-10, 23-21. Popov is currently ranked 35th.
“I think in the first game it was bad. The second game I tried my best to focus more and be more aggressive. But I think he’s much more confident and I couldn’t focus that well. I prepared for a tough match, but I guess I wasn’t as mentally ready. I know that he’s a tough player and a good player so I tried my best to prepare but I guess it was not enough,” Loh told the media after the match.
Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting eventually won the Men’s Singles final of the Singapore Open, ranked 4th in the world, and bested Danish player Anders Antonsen.
At the Indonesia Open, Malaysian player Lee Zii Jia faced defeat at the hands of India’s Lakshya Sen, a former world junior number 1, in the first round, 21-17, 21-13.
After the match, Lee shocked everyone by announcing that he would take a temporary break from competitions.
“I think for now, I will probably temporarily quit badminton. I don’t know how long it will take, but I will quit badminton for a while, until I get my motivation again. I will take a break and get rest for a while,” he said in an interview. /TISG