The Best of Asia: Loh Kean Yew (Singapore)
Loh Kean Yew is a Singaporean player currently ranked #40 on BWF’s world ranking for men’s singles. He’s only 23 years old but already has over 134 career wins, making him one of Asia’s best players!
Badminton came to him at a very young age. In an interview with BWF, he shares “when I was 4 years old, I played with my neighbors, brother, family members. Then at the age of 10 I started official training and then I was in a state team in Penang. At 13 I came to Singapore and joined Singapore Sports School.” He moved to pursue his ambitions but it wasn’t easy. He had a hard time learning English and making friends.
But that didn’t stop him from achieving his dreams. He continued to train and work hard and participated in many competitions over the years such as the SCG THAILAND OPEN 2013, YONEX CHINESE TAIPEI OPEN 2013, and the YONEX SUNRISE INDONESIA OPEN 2013. However it wasn’t until the following year where he won his first gold medal at the 2014 Singapore International after defeating Thai opponent Kantaphon Wangcharoen. From then on, success followed.
In 2015, Loh represented Singapore in the Southeast Asian Games, which was a huge honor for him. “My first major game that I represented Singapore was actually held in Singapore, the Southeast Asian Games in 2015. That was the first time I experienced what a major game was like, and then there was homegrown support. I played and performed so well that I got into the semifinals for my individual event and even in the team event and I nearly beat a top player”. A bronze medal both in the individual and team event was amazing considering that it was the first time he represented the country.
He replicated that success in 2017 when he won a bronze for the men’s team at the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur. He also saw himself on top of the podium again that year after winning gold at the Malaysia and Singapore International, beating Malaysian Cheam June Wei and compatriot Ryan Ng respectively. He then went on to win gold at the Mongolia International and silver at the South Australia International in 2018.
2019 became one of his most successful years as he won. Loh won the men's singles silver medal in 2019 Southeast Asian Games and also the bronze for the men’s team. At the Thailand Masters he shocked many after beating Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan 21–19, 21–18 to take home the gold medal. What a crowning achievement.
We are so excited for his tremendous growth and will continue to support his achievements!