Loh Kean Yew sets his sights on Olympic medal after becoming world champion

·2-min read
Singapore's Loh Kean Yew and his coach pose on the podium after winning the men's singles final at the BWF World Championships in Huelva.
Singapore's Loh Kean Yew and his coach pose on the podium after winning the men's singles final at the BWF World Championships in Huelva. (PHOTO: Jose Jordan/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Barely an hour had passed after Loh Kean Yew's historic World Championships triumph, when the Singaporean shuttler declared his next ambition - winning an Olympic medal.

The 24-year-old had created sporting history for the city-state on Sunday (19 December), when he defeated India's former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth 21-15, 22-20 in the men's singles final of the BWF World Championships to become Singapore's first badminton world champion.

"I’m incredibly happy. This feels like a dream, and now it’s a dream come true. I grew up watching Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei playing such big finals and now I’m here as the world champion. It’s unbelievable," Loh told Yahoo News Singapore in a WhatsApp interview after his monumental triumph in Huelva, Spain.

"I feel I have improved over the past few months, but I still have a long way to go to be where I want to be, and I will continue to work hard to be even better, as I chase my dream of winning an Olympic medal for Singapore."

Loh, who is currently ranked world No.22, is likely to earn enough ranking points to propel him into a career-high top-10 spot when the new rankings are out on Monday.

However, with the top-10 ranking and his world-champion status, it also means that he will no longer be a plucky underdog going into future tournaments. With a target now on his back, Loh said he is prepared to keep working hard and not rest on his laurels.

"Now that I have reached this stage, I am sure people will now start re-watching my matches and study my game in more detail," he said. 

"I will therefore have to keep working hard to make sure that I continue improving so that I would be able to face the challenges coming up."

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