Badminton: Loh Kean Yew to meet world No. 2 Viktor Axelsen in Indonesia Open final

SINGAPORE – National shuttler Loh Kean Yew set up a date with Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in the final of the Indonesia Open after a solid 21-14, 21-7 win over Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke in the semi-finals on Saturday (Nov 27) evening.

Loh, the 24-year-old world No. 26, will play world No. 2 Axelsen at the Bali International Convention Centre on Sunday.

The Dane had beaten Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie 21-19, 21-15 in the other semi-final of the US$850,000 (S$1.16 million) Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 1000 event played earlier.

If he wins the Indonesia Open, Loh will also earn a spot in the year-end BWF World Tour Finals, which would be a first for a Singaporean male player.

There is added intrigue to the final as Loh had trained with Axelsen in Dubai for a month in August and September, a stint which has helped the Singaporean kick on to a fine run of form.

In Bali, he is eyeing his third title in two months, after wins at the Dutch Open in October and the Super 500 Hylo Open earlier this month.

Over the past month, he has also beaten a string of top players, most notably world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in an earlier round in Bali, as well as Chinese Taipei’s world No. 4 Chou Tien-chen, Malaysia’s All England champion Lee Zii Jia (seventh), Taiwanese Wang Tzu-wei (11th), and India’s Lakshya Sen (19th).

Loh and Axelsen had met as recently as October, when the Singaporean lost 21-19, 21-14 in the first round of the Denmark Open in Odense in 35 minutes.

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