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Singaporean badminton player Loh Kean Yew wins Dutch Open; team-mates Terry Hee and Loh Kean Hean claim doubles crown

Singaporean badminton player Loh Kean Yew wins Dutch Open; team-mates Terry Hee and Loh Kean Hean claim doubles crown
Singapore's Loh Kean Yew poses with the Yonex Dutch Open men's singles trophy on Oct 17, 2021. (Photo: Facebook/Edwin Tong, Loh Kean Yew)

SINGAPORE: It was double delight for Singapore badminton at the Yonex Dutch Open on Sunday (Oct 17), as they swept both the men's singles and doubles titles.

Loh Kean Yew took the singles crown, beating India’s Lakshya Sen 21-12, 21-16 in the final.

Loh's elder brother, Kean Hean, then delivered the second gold for the country when he partnered Terry Hee to victory in the doubles event. 

They beat Malaysia's sixth seeds Tan Wee Kiong and Tan Kian Meng 21-14, 18-21, 22-20 in the final.

It was Kean Yew who got the ball rolling on Sunday. 

The world No 41 was seeded second in the tournament at the Topsportcentrum in Almere, near Amsterdam.  

Victories over Russia’s Vladimir Malkov, Azerbaijan’s Ade Resky Dwicahyo, Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen and Spain’s Pablo Abian in the earlier rounds had taken him to the championship decider.

He took 36 minutes to see off Sen, the world No 25 and tournament top seed, to claim his sixth international title – his first since the 2019 Thailand Masters, where he beat two-time Olympic singles champion Lin Dan in the final.

The 24-year-old’s other titles came at the 2018 Mongolia International Series, the 2017 Malaysia International Series and the 2017 and 2014 Singapore International Series.

Speaking to CNA, Kean Yew said that his target had been to make the final.

"I'm glad that I hit that target," he said. "I had a good start and I rode on the momentum."

In a Facebook post, the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) described the game as a "riveting and competitive match”.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong also congratulated him for an "impressive" display in the Netherlands.

"Kean Yew was dominant in the final, winning in straight sets 21-12, 21-16. In fact, he did not drop a single game en route to the title. Impressive!" he said in a Facebook post.

The Dutch Open was Kean Yew’s first outing since the Tokyo Olympics, where he notched a win against Aram Mahmoud of the Netherlands before his elimination at the hands of Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie.

He spent a month training with Denmark’s Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in Dubai after the Games.

He said that the stint with Axelsen and four other players – Englishman Toby Penty, Canadian Brian Yang, Swede Felix Burestedt and Sunday's opponent Sen – had been very beneficial in his preparation for this tournament.

"I found myself steadier with my game and making less mistakes," said Kean Yew, who will next compete in this month's Denmark Open and French Open.

"In the past, I would make simple errors easily, but things were better this time around."

But it was the doubles pair of Kean Hean and Terry Hee who would wrap up a sweet campaign for Singapore in the Netherlands.

Singapore's Loh Kean Hean and Terry Hee celebrate after winning the men's doubles title at the Yonex Dutch Open on Oct 17, 2021. (Photo: Facebook/Singapore Badminton Association)

A nail-biting finish it was, as they clinched the deciding game 22-20 to overcome their Malaysian rivals.

SBA paid their tribute in a Facebook post, saying that it was the pair's "first win at an International Challenge event", and thanking the players for an "excellent performance".

"We're all so proud of you here back home here in sunny Singapore!" it said.

Source: CNA/kg(gr)

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