Loh Kean Yew defeats second top-10 shuttler in as many months
But upset win over world No. 2 Chou not enough as Republic's men bow out of Asian team c'ships
Singapore shuttler Loh Kean Yew claimed another scalp by stunning world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen 21-16, 21-17 at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in the Philippines yesterday.
This is Loh's second upset victory in as many months.
Last month, the 22-year-old defeated Japan's world No. 10 Kanta Tsuneyama in the first round of the Indonesia Masters, winning 24-22, 21-9.
Asked for his thoughts on beating Chou yesterday, the 37th-ranked Loh said: "Happy to win this time, because I lost last time."
He was referring to a 21-13, 18-21, 21-17 loss to the 30-year-old Taiwanese in the Round of 16 in last August's BWF World Championships.
When reminded that he had beaten two top-10 players in as many months, Loh replied: "I've been working on improving myself and hopefully I can continue to beat higher-ranking players more often, so that I can improve my ranking."
Loh's upset win, however, was not enough for Singapore to reach the quarter-finals, as they lost their remaining two singles and two doubles matches.
The Republic had slipped in their Group C opener on Wednesday, losing 3-2 to hosts Philippines at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.
Yesterday, the Republic's women also lost 3-2 to Taiwan in a Group Z encounter.
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But both teams had already secured their quarter-final spots due to the withdrawal of China, Hong Kong and India following the coronavirus outbreak.
If they overcome their quarter-final opponents South Korea today, the Republic's women will reach the Uber Cup for the first time since 2014.
Separately, Chou and compatriot Tai Tzu-ying confirmed their participation in the Singapore Badminton Open at the Indoor Stadium from April 7-12.
They will be joined by Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon and reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain.
Tai, the defending women's champion, hopes that playing in the Singapore tournament will help in her quest to win the elusive Olympic crown.
She said: "I want to win in Tokyo. I have been working hard and training relentlessly for it.
"Every tournament, including the Singapore Badminton Open, needs to be looked at as a fresh challenge.
"I have to always give my 100 per cent and not take any match lightly."