Singapore Sportstar Spotlight: Super Shuttler Loh Kean Yew
STORY: Ng Kai
02 June 2022
We'll just put it here in black and white: this guy is really sibei ups.
At just 24-years-old, national shuttler Loh Kean Yew is the reigning men's singles world champion for badminton. And he's not just smashing records in badminton (he's the first Singaporean to become world champ), but he's also received accolades for other achievements off the court - even while doing national service!
Character bio: Singapore Sports School (SSS) offered him a scholarship when he was 13, having recognised his potential after seeing his success in Penang. Since he joined SSS in 2010, he's only met with success after success. Kean Yew obtained Singaporean citizenship in 2015, and went on to enlist for national service in 2016.
Achievement unlocked: As the current men's singles world champion, Kean Yew has definitely left his mark in the history books by also being the first Singaporean to achieve that title. He also won silver at the 2019 and 2021 Southeast Asian Games, and represented Singapore at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Off the court, Kean Yew has been included in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list - testament to his status as a trailblazer in his sport.
Serving the nation: Although Kean Yew might have been born in Penang, he definitely is a Singaporean Son, having served NS as a transport operator in the Transport Hub East unit.
"I feel honoured and satisfied because all the hard work and time spent on training has paid off. I am also grateful as my efforts have been recognised by SAFSA," he shared when he was presented the Best Sportsman award in 2018.
"While it was tough to juggle between badminton training and serving national service, I was determined to keep going… and train to the best of my ability. I'm also glad that my unit gave me their full support as well."
Most recently, he articulated his support for NS in an Instagram post featuring him and swimmer Joseph Schooling, writing: "I agree with what Joseph said and I think that National Service and sports can co-exist. Ultimately, we are all defending the same flag and want to do Singapore proud. 🇸🇬"
Level up: ICYMI Kean Yew was chosen to be the flag bearer for Singapore along with national paddler Yu Mengyu at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "I am proud to fly Singapore flag high in the Tokyo Olympics 🇸🇬", he shared in an Instagram post.
As he smashes his way through more victories, we're keenly following this super shuttler on his journey to the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. Watch this space!