Singapore’s champion shuttler back to batting after ‘whirlwind’ of fame

Shuttler and 2021’s Badminton World champion Loh Kean Yew. Photo: Loh Kean Yew/Instagram
Shuttler and 2021’s Badminton World champion Loh Kean Yew. Photo: Loh Kean Yew/Instagram

It’s time for Singapore’s newly minted badminton champion to get back on the training to compete in a new season. 

Loh Kean Yew, 24, last night said that he is back to training in Dubai and will start his season Tuesday at the India Open tournament, posting a video showing off his footwork. He also made an award-winning-like thank you speech to those who supported him after he gained popularity for his championship win last month.

“I am really grateful to everyone who came forward with your support and encouragement. Your gestures and generosity mean a lot to me. It is challenging to maintain consistency at this level, but knowing that I have the support back home gives me extra motivation to remain focused and to put in my best efforts,” he wrote.

“Once again, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. 🙏🏻”

Loh has reunited and will train with Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen, who is widely credited for his victory.

After bringing home Singapore’s first championship title at the BWF World Championships in Huelva, Spain, last month, Loh spent 11 days in Singapore reveling in the spotlight.

Since Sunday, the public has crowdfunded close to S$150,000 (US$110,000) to reward him after finding out that Loh did not pocket any prize money. The Badminton World Federation World Championships did not offer any financial incentives and he was not eligible for any government cash rewards as they only apply to the SEA, Asian, Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

The Straits Times reported Wednesday that the Singapore Badminton Association is in the midst of negotiating a multi-year, six-figure deal for Loh.

Loh will play against Canada’s Sheng Xiaodong, who ranks 69th in the world, at the India Open in New Delhi.

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