Singapore's Loh Kean Yew claims badminton title in Germany
SINGAPORE National shuttler Loh Kean Yew has won the biggest title of his career after he beat Malaysia's world No.8 Lee Zii Jia, who retired in the Hylo Open men's singles final on Sunday (Nov 8).
The 24-year-old Singaporean was leading 19-21, 21-13, 17-12 at the Saarlandhalle in Saarbrucken, Germany when Lee conceded the match after suffering a back injury.
This is Loh's first triumph at the Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 500 level, the fourth tier on the sport's professional circuit.
The world No. 39 also won US$24,000 (S$32,400) in prize money and 9,200 ranking points.
Loh said: "I'm delighted to win this tournament, but I hope Lee is not too badly injured. We both wanted to win this badly and put up a fierce fight.
"This is a good milestone for my career and I will continue working hard to make sure there is more to come.
"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."
Unfortunately, Loh's teammate Yeo Jia Min was unable to match his success, missing out on what would be the biggest title of her career after losing to Thailand's world No. 14 Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21 10, 21 14 in the women's singles final.
For her efforts, the 22-year-old Singaporean claimed a cheque for US$12,160 (S$16,400) and 7,800 ranking points that should see her break into the world's top 20 for the first time.
Yeo said: "I'm disappointed with my game in the final. I wasn’t moving well and she was quick to go on attacks and pressured me very well to get the win.
"But reaching my first Super 500 final motivates me to keep looking forward and improving."