Loh Kean Yew falls at first hurdle of Asian Games badminton men’s singles event
HANGZHOU – Singapore’s top badminton player Loh Kean Yew’s rollercoaster form took a downturn as the world No. 9 suffered a round-of-32 defeat by Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong on his Asian Games men’s singles debut on Tuesday.
Despite ample support from the local crowd at the Binjiang Gymnasium, the 26-year-old never quite got going as he lost 21-12, 21-14 in 45 minutes to trail 3-1 in their head-to-head record.
The 19th-ranked Ng, 23, had previously beaten the 2021 world champion at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2023 Japan Open, while Loh claimed his only victory at the Korea Open.
Ng will face Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the round of 16 on Wednesday.
The luck of the draw also threw up other tantalising clashes earlier as Taiwanese world No. 13 Chou Tien-chen eliminated Indonesia’s defending champion Jonatan Christie 21-17, 21-17.
Thailand’s world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn was also taken to a decider by Vietnam’s Nguyen Hai Dang before winning 17-21, 21-18, 21-15 to set up a meeting against Malaysian Lee Zii Jia.
Earlier in the day, Singaporean Jason Teh made it to the last 16 after beating Ahmed Nibal 21-8, 21-12. The world No. 83 faces Indonesia’s top seed and world No. 2 Anthony Ginting on Wednesday.
In the women’s singles, world No. 22 Yeo Jia Min progressed to the round of 16 after she beat Kazakh Karina Smagulova 21-7, 21-7, and will meet China’s Olympic champion and third-ranked Chen Yufei for a place in the quarter-finals.