Salute for Huelva hero | The Straits Times


Badminton world champion Loh Kean Yew obtained a hero’s welcome upon his homecoming as he loved a water cannon salute when his KL833 flight arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 1 at round 4pm yesterday.

“I’m just glad to be back,” a chirpy Loh mentioned as he acknowledged a gaggle of fifty individuals who had gathered and applauded his return.

He informed The Straits Times: “It’s good to see everybody right here, listening to Singlish throughout me, shiok!

“This is the primary time I’ve skilled the water salute and I’m very honoured they did this for me.

“I hope to achieve more sporting glory for Singapore.”

Due to Covid-19 secure administration measures, there was no public reception for the shuttler.

But a gaggle of eagle-eyed onlookers on the airport managed to catch a glimpse of Singapore’s world champion yesterday.

Denise, 26, who wished to be identified solely by her first identify, was operating errands when she noticed the media gathering and “sensed that someone important was arriving”.

She mentioned: “I suspected it could possibly be Kean Yew after which realised it was positively him as a result of he posted on Instagram that he had landed.

“So I waited to see if I could catch a glimpse of him.”

The 24-year-old Singaporean delivered a shock gold on the Badminton World Federation World Championships on Sunday when he beat India’s Srikanth Kidambi 21-15, 22-20 within the males’s singles remaining in Huelva, Spain, regardless of nursing an ankle damage.

Returning with nationwide singles coach Kelvin Ho and physiotherapist Ho Jia Ying, he additionally celebrated his climb to a career-high world No. 15 within the newest rankings launched yesterday.

National swimmer Joseph Schooling additionally obtained an analogous water salute reception on the airport when he returned from the Rio 2016 Olympics with the nation’s first Olympic gold medal within the 100m butterfly.

After clearing a polymerase chain response swab take a look at, Loh was welcomed residence by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong in addition to Singapore Badminton Association officers – president Lawrence Leow, chief govt officer Alan Ow, technical director Martin Andrew and different administration committee members.

He then attended a press convention on the Changi Experience Studio in Jewel, the place he shared all of the issues he missed about Singapore – his pillow and mattress, hotpot and Japanese meals.

He will get his injured proper ankle checked at this time, however was feeling high-quality sufficient to do a boomerang hop for Instagram, and can take a break from badminton for the remainder of 12 months. He heads to Dubai subsequent month to coach with Denmark’s world No. 1 and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen.

With the exception of a four-day spell at residence from Dec 4 to 7, Loh has been on the street since August to coach and compete.

He had a one-month coaching stint with Axelsen and 4 different top-60 gamers in Dubai throughout August and September, earlier than flying to Paris to coach with the France nationwide group.

In the 2 months that adopted, he captured the Dutch Open and Hylo Open in Germany and completed second within the Indonesia Open, earlier than claiming his historic world title.

In the method, he scalped six of the present prime 10 – Axelsen, Japan’s Kento Momota (second), Denmark’s Anders Antonsen (third), Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien-chen (fourth), Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia (seventh), and Kidambi (tenth).

But nonetheless, there are some who’ve questioned the Penang native’s allegiance on social media.

Loh, who has seen his Instagram followers develop from 110,000 final month to 170,000, mentioned: “I simply chortle at it as a result of on the Internet, everybody can say what they need.

“I’m just me, I’m just playing badminton… this will never end, but I just do what I can and hope to make Singapore proud.”

There are others who’ve questioned why there are not any financial rewards given for Loh’s huge achievement.

The world championships and the Olympics don’t provide money prizes, though the Singapore National Olympic Council administers the Major Games Award Programme (MAP) which disburses financial rewards for main Games.

Loh, who has earned over $80,000 in prize cash prior to now two months, mentioned: “This shouldn’t be inside my management. I did not anticipate to win (the world title so quickly), so cash did not cross my thoughts.

“For me, it’s about playing the best I can, and hoping to perform. This time I won, so I’m just glad to put the Singapore flag into the history books and we got to hear Majulah Singapura at the world championships.”

Agreeing, Denise added yesterday: “He’s finished us all proud. Seeing the way in which he celebrated his win was particularly transferring.

“He’s set an instance for youngsters to observe.

“I’m sure people of all ages who know of his achievement will feel very inspired.”

Additional reporting by Deepanraj Ganesan

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