Loh Kean Yew has a high-decibel game, and the cacophony of his pristine speed, jagged and jarred at Kidambi Srikanth’s rhythm as the Indian went down 21-15, 22-20 to the whirlpooling Singaporean in the World Championships finals at Huelva.
This silver and the contest for gold were settled by speed, of the quality and quickness that has not been seen on badminton courts since Lee Chong Wei retired. Some even reckon that Malaysia-born, Singapore-reared Loh might be faster than Chong Wei, such is the impact of the unseeded 24-year-old’s conquest of the World title.
Kidambi Srikanth, it could be said, offered Loh the most resistance, after his first-round match against Viktor Axelsen. But even if scorelines like 9-3 and later 11-7 in the opener, and Srikanth’s defiance from 18-20 to 20-20 in the second offered slivers of steadying light into a dank room of vertiginous speed, the Singaporean remained too dizzying to handle for the Indian.