Singapore’s Loh stuns superstar Lin Dan in Thailand Masters final

SINGAPORE – Singaporean shuttler Loh Kean Yew notched a sensational victory after he beat two-time Olympic singles champion Lin Dan 21-19,21-18 to win the Thailand Masters finals last Sunday.

Ranked 125th in the world, the 21-year-old Loh was up against a vastly more experienced opponent in Lin, who was also the tournament’s top seed, a report by Channel News Asia said.

But the youngster displayed nerves of steel as he won the match in straight sets, to take home the winner’s cheque of USD11,250.

Loh had defeated France’s Brice Leverdez 14-21, 21-10, 21-14 in the semi-final last Saturday, while 35-year-old Lin beat compatriot Lu Guangzu 21-11, 6-21, 21-18.

“It’s an honour to be able to play with Lin Dan, to stand on the same stage as him. It’s been my dream since young,” Loh said.

“He is very experienced and it wasn’t easy to play with him. I think I used my age as an advantage to outrun him. I can’t really remember what was going through my head but I think I just kept telling myself to stay focussed,” he added.

This is the youngster’s first head-to-head meeting with Lin, currently ranked 13th in the world.

The Thailand Masters is a Super 300 tournament, four levels below the top-tiered BWF world tour finals.

“My targets aren’t going to change just because I won a tournament. I do feel happy but, to be consistent is more important,” said Loh.

“Since young, Olympic gold has been my dream and it hasn’t changed yet.”