Badminton: S’pore’s Loh Kean Yew to coach with Axelsen once more in Olympic medal push

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SINGAPORE – The one-month coaching stint with Denmark’s world No. 1 and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen post-Tokyo 2020 has been broadly credited as an enormous consider Singaporean Loh Kean Yew’s rise to turn out to be world champion.

And the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) confirmed on Monday (Dec 20) that this profitable formulation is about to be repeated in January, because it plots his path in the direction of profitable a medal at Paris 2024.

Axelsen had approached Loh to coach with him in early 2020, across the time when he had pushed the Dane to a few video games on the Spain Masters’ spherical of 32. But the plan was placed on ice after the one-year postponement of the Olympics as a result of coronavirus pandemic, earlier than materialising in August.

SBA technical director Martin Andrew instructed The Straits Times: “Kean Yew will travel to train with Viktor and others in Dubai prior to the tournaments in India in January, and he may also return to Dubai after those events for another couple of weeks.”

Other than additional bettering on his recreation play with such high-level sparring on the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex, the Englishman hopes Loh can emulate Axelsen’s gold customary of consistency by way of shot-making and match performances.

Statistics from the Badminton World Federation present that previous to dropping to Loh within the first spherical of the World Championships, 27-year-old Axelsen gained 61 out of 64 accomplished matches and clinched 5 titles.

In comparability, Loh gained 23 out of 30 matches and picked up three titles in his most prolific 12 months thus far.

Andrew mentioned: “Kean Yew’s shot consistency has improved considerably, and we wish him to play with much less errors whereas sustaining the danger degree.

“He has additionally managed to be constant by way of match performances at a excessive degree lately, nevertheless it’s been fairly quick time period and we’ve got to count on and handle some peaks and troughs with that.

“Viktor has had a great run through 2021, and (Kento) Momota had this previously through 2019 (when he won a record 11 titles). Kean Yew should be aiming to maintain his level as much as possible, but he is now playing at the top tier of world-class tournaments, so the challenge is greater.”

Other targets the SBA has set for the 24-year-old embody profitable medals at subsequent 12 months’s SEA Games (May 12-23) and July 28-Aug 8 Commonwealth Games, in addition to making a powerful push on the Sept 10-25 Asian Games, whereas persevering with to climb the world rankings.

The SBA can even work with the Singapore Sport Institute on biomechanics and match tagging to grasp extra about his strengths and weaknesses, and improve psychological assist to assist Loh address the calls for of touring at a excessive degree.

World No. 22 Loh is predicted to rise to fifteenth within the new rankings on Tuesday, and Andrew mentioned: “Kean Yew has acquired to goal to get into the highest 10 on the earth subsequent 12 months and keep that place all through to make sure advantageous seeding at tournaments.

“To do so, he must maintain his physical condition, which he has done well so far. We will also work with him on analysing opponents and developing game plans against them, as well as keeping a focus on his mentality so he can be tough in challenging situations.”

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