NANJING: Liew Daren's amazing giant-killing run at the World Championships has finally ended.
The 30-year-old met his match in Japan's Kento Momota in the semi-finals at Youth Olympic Sports Park Arena here on Saturday (Aug 4).
Daren, who is world No 39, went down 16-21, 5-21 against Kento, who is the world No 7.
Still, Daren will leave Nanjing as a hero.
As a losing semi-finalist, he will still earn a bronze medal, making him only the third medal winner at the World Championships after Lee Chong Wei and Wong Choong Hann.
Daren explained that he was carrying an injury and playing below his best.
"In the second game, the injury started to bother me and I couldn't push any further. I was playing at probably 80 to 90% (of my full level)," he explained.
"As I know my fitness would not last, my plan was to attack in the first game, hoping to win it. Unfortunately I didn't manage to though I tried all I could."
Nonetheless, Daren said it feels extra special to be winning a World Championships bronze medal as an independent shuttler.
"It means a lot to me.
"Winning a World Championships medal after leaving the national team is something that I have never thought of," said Daren.
"I feel very proud, very happy."