Penang-born Kean Yew fulfils dream to be world champ

PETALING JAYA: Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew grew up watching badminton greats Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei and dreamt to be successful like them one day.

And at just 24, he has realised his aspiration by becoming a world champion on Sunday.

Kean Yew capped a fairy-tale run by beating India’s K. Srikanth 21-15, 22-20 and make Singapore only the 12th different country to win gold at the world meet since its inception in 1977.

It was an incredible feat considering Singapore’s previous best was in the quarter-finals.

“I’m incredibly happy. This feels like a dream and now it’s a dream come true,” Kean Yew told Yahoo News Singapore.

“I grew up watching Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei in big finals and now I’m here as the world champion. It’s unbelievable.”

The Penang-born Kean Yew will not rest on his laurels despite the historic feat.

He has set his sights on creating more history for Singapore by winning the Republic’s first Olympic medal.

“I feel I have improved over the past few months but I still have a long way to go to be where I want to be,” he added.

“I will continue to work hard to be even better as I chase my dream of winning an Olympic medal.”

Kean Yew is under no illusion that the journey will become even tougher after attaining the top status.

“Now that I have reached this stage, I’m sure other players will now study my game in detail.

“I will have to keep working harder so that I would be able to face the challenges coming up.”

Kean Yew is projected to climb to a career-best No. 15 in the world ranking.

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