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‘No regrets’ as badminton world champion Loh loses crown

TOKYO (AFP) – Singapore’s reigning badminton world champion Loh Kean Yew said he had “no regrets” after his title defence ended in a quarter-final loss to Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn in Tokyo yesterday.

Number eight seed Loh lost 21-12, 17-21, 21-8 to rising star Vitidsarn and said he had felt “no pressure” trying to defend his crown after winning the title last year in Huelva, Spain.

“This week was fine,” said the 25-year-old, who said he struggled to cope with the drift inside Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

“I just tried my best to fight for every point and that was all that matters.”

The 21-year-old Vitidsarn is a three-time junior world champion who is seen as one of badminton’s best young players.

Loh Kean Yew of Singapore hits a return against Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand during their men’s singles quarter-final match on day five of the World Badminton Championships in Tokyo. PHOTO: AFP

He said Loh made “some easy mistakes” in their match and looked forward to a semi-final against China’s Zhao Junpeng.

“This week I go step-by-step because it’s a big tournament with many top players and very difficult to play,” said Vitidsarn.

“I don’t think too much because if I think too much I have pressure in the game. I want to learn about the top players.”

Loh said he would try to “improve everything” about his game after losing his title.

“Everything I am good at, I need to become better – whatever I’m not so good at, I need to improve that as well,” he said.

“My goal is to do my best in every match and to become better every day.”

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