Singapore badminton athletes Yeo Jia Min and Loh Kean Yew qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Singapore's top seeded male and female shuttlers to make debut at this year's Olympiad in Japan

PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG


Singapore's top shuttlers Loh Kean Yew and Yeo Jia Min have both qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after the Badminton World Federation confirmed its qualification list on Monday (June 7, 2021).


Both athletes will be making their debuts at the global sporting event, having made the headlines in the last two years, with significant victories against world powerhouses.


Yeo Jia Min and Loh Kean Yew reflect on an eventful year in this 2019 interview.

Loh Kean Yew defeated Lin Dan in the 2019 Thailand Masters Final, while Yeo Jia Min overcame then Japanese World Number 1 Akane Yamaguchi at the BWF World Championships in August 2019.


Loh also followed up on his feat with a silver medal in the Men's Singles and Team Bronze at the 2019 SEA Games, while Yeo also took Team Bronze with the Women's Team at the Games.

PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG


The Race to Tokyo rankings is a system that decides who qualifies for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and while the qualification period closes only on 15 June 2021, the Badminton World Federation has confirmed that there would be no more competitions due to the recent spike in global Covid-19 cases across many countries.


One such competition which has been cancelled was the Singapore Badminton Open, which was slated to take place this week 1 - 6 June 2021 at the Singapore Sports Hub. Other affected tournaments by the BWF include the India Open (11-16 May 2021), and the Malaysia Open (25 - 30 May 2021).


PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG


This means that Loh and Yeo have both sealed their Olympic spots, being ranked at 18th and 17th respectively in the Race to Tokyo rankings, with a total of 38 places being alloted for the singles event for both genders.


The Singapore Badminton Association were joyous in their announcement of Kean Yew and Jia Min's qualification, with a Facebook post that read: "We are 100 per cent sure Kean Yew and Jia Min would do their best and do all of us proud."


Singapore National Olympic Council also congratulated the athletes, with an Instagram post that read: "Our heartiest congratulations to shuttlers Loh Kean Yew and Yeo Jia Min for qualifying for the men's and women's singles events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!"


"Since the qualification period started in April 2019, they have worked hard to scale the Olympic rankings, eventually finishing in 17th (for Jia Min) and 18th (for Kean Yew), well within the qualification criteria."

PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG


The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is slated to be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan, having been postponed from last year owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.


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