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Badminton: Loh Kean Yew gets Olympic campaign off to winning start

Badminton: Loh Kean Yew gets Olympic campaign off to winning start

Loh Kean Yew of Singapore competes against Refugee Olympic team's Aram Mahmoud during men's singles Badminton match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, in Tokyo, on Jul 26, 2021. (Photo: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

SINGAPORE: Badminton player Loh Kean Yew got his Olympic campaign off to a winning start when he beat IOC Refugee Olympic Team’s Aram Mahmoud on Monday (Jul 26). 

Loh, ranked 42nd in the world, saw off the challenge 21-15, 21-12 at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza.

But Loh would not have things easy in the first set as Mahmoud, ranked 172nd, stayed within striking distance. The Singaporean went into the interval 11-8 ahead. 

Loh Kean Yew competes in the men's singles Badminton match at the Tokyo Olympics on Jul 26, 2021. (Photo: SNOC)
Loh Kean Yew competes in the men's singles Badminton match at the Tokyo Olympics on Jul 26, 2021. (Photo: SNOC)

Loh managed to stretch his lead, with some slick play at the net taking his lead to 17-10, before winning the first set. 

Mahmoud got off to a decent start in the second, before the Singaporean found his footing and a deft backhand return put him 5-3 up. And despite a spirited effort, Loh eventually pulled away for the victory.

Loh Kean Yew competes in the men's singles Badminton match at the Tokyo Olympics on Jul 26, 2021. (Photo: SNOC)
Loh Kean Yew competes in the men's singles Badminton match at the Tokyo Olympics on Jul 26, 2021. (Photo: SNOC)

The IOC unveiled its first refugee team at the Rio Games to raise awareness of the issue. The Tokyo Games features 29 athletes who will compete under the Olympic flag.

Loh, 24, will next face Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie, who beat Mahmoud earlier in the tournament.

Christie is the seventh seed in the tournament, while Loh is unseeded. The winner of their clash will top their group and progress to the next round.

READ: Tokyo Olympics declared open; Team Singapore led in by Loh Kean Yew and Yu Mengyu

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network.

Source: CNA/ga(gs)

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