Badminton: Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew wins Spain Masters, first title since 2021 World Championships

Badminton: Singapore's Loh Kean Yew wins Spain Masters, first title since 2021 World Championships

SINGAPORE: Singapore badminton player Loh Kean Yew won the Spain Masters on Sunday (Mar 31), ending his title drought in the same country where he picked up his World Championship title more than two years ago.

Loh, the world number 11, overcame France’s Toma Junior Popov 21-11, 15-21, 22-20 in Madrid, clinching his first title since the 2021 World Championships.

According to data from the Badminton World Federation (BWF), it was Loh’s fifth career meeting with Popov. He has won all five matches against his French opponent, who is ranked 25th in the world.

This is Loh’s third BWF World Tour title after the Thailand Masters in 2019 and Hylo Open in 2021.

He last won a tournament at the World Championships in December 2021, when he went on a fairytale run and upset a number of higher-ranked players, including Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen.

He is the first Singaporean to win a BWF World Championships title.

Since then, a title has eluded Loh. The 26-year-old Singaporean made it to the finals of the Korea Open in July 2023 and the Thailand Masters in February 2024, but fell to Denmark’s Anders Antonsen and Chou respectively.