Badminton: Singapore's Loh Kean Yew falls to Indonesia's Christie in thriller, eliminated from Olympics
TOKYO: Loh Kean Yew pushed world number seven Jonatan Christie to his limits in the men’s singles at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza on Wednesday (Jul 28), but was eliminated after losing to the Indonesian in three sets.
Loh, ranked 42nd in the world, kept pace with his higher ranked opponent early on but Christie eventually pulled away to establish a four point lead.
But the Singaporean refused to lay down and would reel away five consecutive points to tie it up at 15-15. Christie however looked to have the slight edge and would take the first set 22-20.
Loh had beaten IOC Refugee Olympic Team’s Aram Mahmoud on Monday and looked to have taken his game to another level against the Indonesian.
Christie is the seventh seed in the tournament, while Loh is unseeded.
And despite going behind, it was Loh that went into the interval 11-8 up as he once again came from behind. Loh would then take the set 21-13.
The Singaporean then grabbed the initiative in the decider, racing to a 4-1 lead. But the Indonesia fought back with six straight points, and retook the lead at 7-5.
Leading 11-7 after the interval, Christie proved too strong for the Singaporean and took the victory 21-18.
The loss mean that Loh finished second in Group G with a win. Christie topped the group and progresses to the round of 16.
Speaking to the media after the match, Loh said his opponent handled the match better at the "crucial points" and noted this was something he needs to work on.
"Actually on all of the games, I was on the losing side at first and caught up," he said. " So it'd be better if I was on the leading side, definitely." Despite making "a lot of simple errors", Loh said he did his best.
He also added that he would like a shot at another Olympic Games.
"That's another goal of mine. This time I didn't get a medal, so hopefully (in) the next one," he said.
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