- Former World Number 1, 28-year-old Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth wins silver at the BWF (Badminton World Federation) Championships
- Kidambi lost to Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew who clinched silver in the edition
Indian sport witnessed an unparalleled year which wore down to a face-off between Kidambi Srikanth and Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew in the BWF (Badminton World Federation) Championships in Huelva, Spain on Sunday. Yew bagged the Gold medal leaving Kidambi’s resolute quest unfulfilled. Indian ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth had to settle for silver at the championship.
Former World No 1, Kidambi Srikanth suffered a straight-game defeat to Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew. Scores at the end of 43 minutes into the finals for Kidambi versus Yew were 15-21 20-22 respectively. 28-year-old badminton icon, Srikanth augmented the feats of badminton legend Prakash Padukone and B Sai Praneeth who had achieved Bronze medals in 1983 and 2019 respectively. Kidambi defeated Lakshya Sen in the semifinals of this edition of the championship on Saturday. Winning the maiden silver enabled Srikanth to share space with PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal who had concluded runner up in the past.
The year 2021, observed a postponed Olympics and in it, a Gold medal for India in track and field, no less, amid a clasp of others would have risen to baffling heights but Malaysian-born Yew had other plans in mind for India.
Despite the fact that Loh knocked down Srikanth at the summit, this would not deter him (Srikanth) from outshining as India’s present-day hero in a remarkably successful year for Indian sports. His final fumble nonetheless, Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, who won Bronze ahead of his semifinal loss, have inscribed a new chapter as Indian Badminton celebrates its first two medals at the game’s greatest tournament.
Ranked 22 as opposed to Srikanth’s 14, Yew was always regarded as a great talent and a potential medal winner. He overthrew Viktor Axelsen, world No. 1 and Olympic champion in the initial round along with the silver medallist of the last edition, Anders Antonsen (23-21, 21-14) ahead of acquiring the title on Sunday.
Loh emigrated from Malaysia to Singapore and gave the latter their first Gold. Surprisingly, Malaysia has never won a Gold medal at the BWF Championships despite possessing numerous top players.
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Srikanth had faced Loh four years ago, yet was aware of what he was up against. He put up a tough fight and played offensive right from the commencement of the match. However, even with a healthy lead of 9-3 in the first game, Srikanth went astray to squander the advantage. The opportunity was well grasped by Loh who eventually overcame the margin, catching up with Srikanth with a fierce straight-line smash.
After that, Loh’s confidence soared high and he dominated the Indian within the nets. The score for Loh raced up to 19-14 from 12-12. Srikanth failed to bridge the gap and Loh won the title. Srikanth altered his strategy in the second game. He tried to involve Loh concluded it with minimal fuss. At one stage, Srikanth led 9-6. However, Loh came back stronger and smashed six points straight.