SINGAPORE — Barely an hour had passed after Loh Kean Yew's historic World Championships triumph, when the Singaporean shuttler declared his next ambition - winning an Olympic medal.
The 24-year-old had created sporting history for the city-state on Sunday (19 December), when he defeated India's former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth 21-15, 22-20 in the men's singles final of the BWF World Championships to become Singapore's first badminton world champion.
"I’m incredibly happy. This feels like a dream, and now it’s a dream come true. I grew up watching Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei playing such big finals and now I’m here as the world champion. It’s unbelievable," Loh told Yahoo News Singapore in a WhatsApp interview after his monumental triumph in Huelva, Spain.
"I feel I have improved over the past few months, but I still have a long way to go to be where I want to be, and I will continue to work hard to be even better, as I chase my dream of winning an Olympic medal for Singapore."
Loh, who is currently ranked world No.22, is likely to earn enough ranking points to propel him into a career-high top-10 spot when the new rankings are out on Monday.
However, with the top-10 ranking and his world-champion status, it also means that he will no longer be a plucky underdog going into future tournaments. With a target now on his back, Loh said he is prepared to keep working hard and not rest on his laurels.
"Now that I have reached this stage, I am sure people will now start re-watching my matches and study my game in more detail," he said.
"I will therefore have to keep working hard to make sure that I continue improving so that I would be able to face the challenges coming up."
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