BWF World C’ships, Finals as it happened: Loh Kean Yew bags historic gold, Srikanth wins silver
Highlights from Day 8 of the badminton World Championships.
Happy to be in final of World C’ships, worked really hard for it: Srikanth after historic silver
BWF World C’ships: How Srikanth Kidambi overcame a gritty Lakshya Sen to reach final, create history
BWF World Championships: In Lakshya Sen’s present, we can see a bright future
- Tai Tzu Ying’s wait continues as Akane Yamaguchi wins the women’s singles final
- Srikanth Kidambi goes down fighting against Loh Kean Yew in men’s singles final.
10.20 pm: And that’s a wrap on the international badminton season. It was hectic to put it mildly, but filled with fantastic storylines from Tokyo to Europe to Bali to Huelva. 2022 promises to be another busy, massive year. India will be at the center of it nice and early. Thanks for joining us through this week, stay tuned for more badminton coverage on our site.
Malaysia-born Loh was in disbelief after becoming the first player from his country to win a world championship title.
“I cannot believe it. I mean, at the start of the year I didn’t think it will happen. Now I can tell you I am finally happy, I don’t have to focus on the match tomorrow,” said the world number 22.
Sharing his game plan for the final, Loh said: “He (Srikanth) is such a good attacking player, I knew it is not going to be easy to defend his shots. So I needed to be prepared for his defence and not let him attack much.
“It didn’t work well at the start and I had to pick up the pace and take initiative at the front.”
“It wasn’t easy to balance between being patient and aggressive. I wanted to win, but it was not easy to stay calm, but I managed to do it well in the end and it worked out well.”
“I know I am not an underdog anymore. I need to think of how to manage things, I can only do it by playing competitions, winning or losing I can only learn from it. So I hope I can withstand the pressure.”— via PTI
Srikanth refers to his heartbreaking defeat against Momota in French Open as a turning point: “From Paris... I started playing really well. The match against Momota was a crucial one, it really gave me huge confidence. I’d have been happier if I converted that win too, similar scenario today.”
Srikanth’s reaction (via BWF Mixed Zone)
Emotions right now:
Definitely it has been a great week, even today I had my chances in both the sets. In the first set I had a healthy lead, in the second set I had a 18-16 cushion. But yeah, I just wasn’t able to finish off the match today. Credits to him, he played really well. Lot of things to learn from this and I will definitely try to get better.
Frustration with the errors:
Going into this match, I wanted to very positive. Try to avoid mistakes. Sometimes, it happens. One has to win and one has to lose. Couldn’t really do much, I tried to stay in the match throughout. It really worked in the second set, but important to finish things off. Something that I will work on.
How different is Kean Yew now since last meeting:
Well, we played four years back or something [three years back at the CWG 2018]. A lot can happen in such a long time. He’s improved his game, matured as a player, physical strength... he’s been playing exceptionally well last few months. Playing really well.
Coming late to the tournament and whether he exceeded expectations:
I didn’t know if I will able to come here till last Thursday. Got to know Thursday around 5-6 pm, that I got my visa. Until I wasn’t sure. So yeah, just happy to be able play this tournament and it has been a great week for me, I was able to play really well throughout. Would’ve loved to win even today, but will definitely try and get better.
Looking back at 2021:
Few tournaments I played really well, few tournaments I couldn’t play. Again, at a such big event, to be in the final and get this opportunity at the World Championships to win silver... something that I worked really hard for. I’ll just try and continue to work hard, it’s a process. Lot of tournaments next year with Asian Games, CWG, another Worlds. Big year... will try and learn from this experience and work on it.
Message to fans:
Definitely would like to thank everyone back home. They have been wonderful, they’ve supporting me throughout the week. I’ve been getting a lot of good wishes. Just very happy for that.
More Srikanth reaction coming up shortly: Wasn’t sure till [last week] Thursday if I will come to the tournament [visa], happy to play really well. It’s been a great week, worked really hard for this. I’d have loved to win today as well. But I’ll definitely work hard and get better, big year 2022
Men’s singles: Singapore, India, Denmark, India.
What a podium at the 2021 World Championships. Doubt we’d see anything like this ever again.
Indian badminton fans can hope Srikanth builds on these last two months or so. Areas to improve as he’d readily agree, but the basic level is significantly better than anything that we have seen him from last two years. Just good to see him back playing the way he can.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 20-22 Loh Kean Yew: A backhand lands in and the Singaporean makes history. WHAT A MATCH.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 20-21 Loh Kean Yew: OH DEAR! Srikanth misses a kill shot with the backhand.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 20-20 Loh Kean Yew: Sri saves two match points. the second with a stunning point. Delightful net play. WOW. BRILLIANCE.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 18-20 Loh Kean Yew: Stunning defence from Loh, Sri thought he must have hit three winners at least, but nets one. Match points.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 18-19 Loh Kean Yew: Searing smash from Loh! He is close.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 18-18 Loh Kean Yew: Oh frustration for Sri after a series of good pints. Misses a net shot, a simple forehand. And next up, Loh lets out a roar as a smash goes wide. HUGE MISS
Ashish Magotra: Stunning 49-shot rally that one.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 16-14 Loh Kean Yew: REMEMBER THIS POINT!!! BEST RALLY OF THE DAY! PERHAPS THE TOURNAMENT! Stunning defence from Loh, absolute magic at the net from Sri to close it.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 15-14 Loh Kean Yew: Srikanth controls a point well and still couldn’t finish it despite Loh on the backfoot. Another small error from Loh next point... he is pumped, he is trying to push himself every point and that is a sign he knows this is crucial. From 14-14, Loh misses a forehand he hasn’t all tournament.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 11-12 Loh Kean Yew: Srikanth stops the rut for now, with a powerful smash and a nice follow up. Loh sends a crosscourt at the net wide.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 9-11 Loh Kean Yew: At 9-7 to Srikanth, Frost said this lead feels different than the first game because here Srikanth has earned it with his gameplay. But from there, Loh puts together a run of five straight points.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 7-5 Loh Kean Yew: Another avoidable error, as Sri tries a cute forehand spinning shot and sends it just wide. Gets the serve back with a super straight smash.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 5-4 Loh Kean Yew: Plan B or not, Srikanth absolutely can’t afford errors or misjudgements. Morten Frost reckons Srikanth is doing “some clever things”, “bringing some men’s doubles” into this. Flatter exchanges. Of course, Sri started off with doubles.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21, 3-2 Loh Kean Yew: Can Srikanth come up with a plan B? Is there a Plan B at the moment against LohKY? A little early lead for the Indian after a superb rally.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-21 Loh Kean Yew: From 13-13, Clark Kent became Superman. The defence is working brilliantly, his touch at the net is phenomenal and Srikanth unable to keep up with the pace.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 15-19 Loh Kean Yew: He needed about three-four winners to win one point but Srikanth gets the serve back to try and make a late comeback.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 13-17 Loh Kean Yew: And it is all #LohKYMadness now. The Singaporean is showing off his superman skills, diving forward in defence and then up in a flash to kill off points... he is all over the court at the moment
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 12-11 Loh Kean Yew: Superb forehand block from Loh for two straight points after the break. Morten Frost thinks, with both players preferring the net game, someone woll have to start make the move forward and start killing rallies. “Close the net down for the opponent” and it is Loh who is doing that now. HE levels things up but Sri has the serve back.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 11-7 Loh Kean Yew: Stunning net play from both players and it is a superb fightback from Loh. Srikanth however puts together a wonderful rally to go into the interval with a 4-point lead.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 9-3 Loh Kean Yew: Drops and spinning shots and slives... drawing Loh forward... it is all working at the moment for Srikanth. EIGHT STRAIGHT POINTS.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi 3-3 Loh Kean Yew: Here we go! Lovely deception at the net followed by a nice follow up to kill a rally and we are off to an even start.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi vs Loh Kean Yew: On paper, Loh Kean Yew has to start as the favourite (just look at the scorelines below) but if Srikanth can take some inspiration from Antonsen’s first game against the Singaporean and come up with his top net game, one can hope. Antonsen couldn’t quite make the most of the hint of nerves that Loh showed. Srikanth must.
Men’s singles final,  Srikanth Kidambi vs Loh Kean Yew: And so we move on to the men’s singles final. Anders Antonsen said last night that Loh Kean Yew is playing like Superman in Huelva.
No Indian male shuttler has ever reached the final of the World C’ships.
No Singaporean shuttler has ever reached the final of the World C’ships.
Already gone further than anyone has before them, who will make history tonight: Srikanth or Loh Kean Yew?
Men’s doubles: Hoki/Kobayashi make history, the first Japanese men’s doubles pair to win gold at the Worlds. Stunning recent form.
Srikanth & Loh Kean Yew’s paths to the final
Men’s doubles final: Hoki and Kobayashi racing through this, as one would expect.
Men’s doubles final: Men’s doubles final to come... still no three-game matches today. If Hoki and Kobayashi play like they have been in recent times, it is likely to continue here. Srikanth vs Loh next after this.
Women’s doubles final: Women’s doubles has been China’s stronghold historically at the Worlds but they are now back on top of the podium after four years (all Japan finals last two times). It is once again Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan.
Women’s doubles final: Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan clinch their second title at the event. Silver in Tokyo, gold in Huelva. A 63-minute straight-games result should tell you how close that was.
Women’s doubles final: Another No 1 and No 2 battle coming up.
Women’s singles podium: Akane Yamaguchi & Nozomi Okuhara are both World Champions now. PV Sindhu is a world champ. Carolina Marin is a three-time world champ. Ratchanok Intanon is a world champ. One can only hope Tai Tzu Ying gives herself a chance to be added to that list. She is all smiles with a silver for now.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 14-21, 11-21 Akane Yamaguchi: AKANE YAMAGUCHI WORLD CHAMPION! Just a small smile and a thumbs up. “That’s all you are going to get from her!” The wait continues for TTY.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 14-21, 11-20 Akane Yamaguchi: Match points Akane! TTY misses a simple kill.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 14-21, 10-19 Akane Yamaguchi: Some stunning drop shots from Akane at the moment! This is all but done.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 14-21, 10-17 Akane Yamaguchi: TTY is missing basic backhands at the moment and is not moving as well as she can. Nerves? Focus? Wow, huge deficit now.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 14-21, 9-11 Akane Yamaguchi: AY ups the pace and in a rare moment of controlled aggression, kills off a good point to take a handy lead into the interval.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 14-21, 9-9 Akane Yamaguchi: Akane is just reacting at the moment. It is either winners or errors from TTY. As we say that, AY sends a punch wide after a pacy rally.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 14-21, 7-7 Akane Yamaguchi: And now three big errors on the trot from TTY.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 14-21, 7-4 Akane Yamaguchi: Tai Tzu Ying’s drop shots are perhaps the money shots for her. The thing is, to beat Akane Yamaguchi with a drop shot is so difficult. No one arguably lunges forward better in the game than Akane. She does it so well, so often. And as we say that, TTY is putting together a masterful run of points. A combination of spinning shots and crosscourt winners. Six straight points.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 14-21 Akane Yamaguchi: Akane Yamaguchi plays a wonderful game to take the opener 21-14. TTY played some lovely shots but making errors too, that’s part of her high risk game. But worryingly, looks a bit static. And she asks for a scissor to loosen her strapping in the hamstring.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 14-20 Akane Yamaguchi: A Sindhu reference on commentary as Gill Clark speaks about how the Indian used the attacking clears to great effect to win in Basel. Akane is doing that here. Game points galore.
Morten Frost on air: “Can you imagine if Carolina Marin was playing this final at the Carolina Marin stadium?”
That would have been so awesome.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 13-15 Akane Yamaguchi: A run of six points from the last 7 from Akane and then she misses a smash! Rare show of emotion there. TTY closes the gap.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 10-11 Akane Yamaguchi: A really good challenge from Akane and we have a 1-point game at the interval.
Women’s Singles final, Tai Tzu Ying 9-9 Akane Yamaguchi: And now we are starting to see the quality!
Women’s Singles final: A nervy start from both players it must be said. Perhaps understandably too, given the stakes. 7-7 in the opening game.
Tai Tzu Ying’s H2H against the players (active) she tends to be pushed:
16-14 vs Ratchanok Intanon
10-8 vs Carolina Marin
10-7 vs Akane Yamaguchi
7-6 vs Nozomi Okuhara
If anyone can keep with TTY, it is pehaps Akane.
Women’s Singles final: All badminton fans will be excited for this one. Akane Yamaguchi has been in superb form since Tokyo. Tai Tzu Ying did not play since Tokyo but has come to Huelva and ended the long wait for a worlds medal. And now both of them seek a first gold.
Time for Women’s Singles final. Top seed Tai Tzu Ying. Second seed Akane Yamaguchi. A first ever world championships gold medal at stake for both of them. Who are you backing?
Mixed doubles final: Thai XD pair are World Champions! Ratchanok Intanon has company. Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai win the mixed doubles final.
Is today the day for TTY? She or Akane Yamaguchi will be crowned the world champion for the first time.
Mixed doubles final: Brilliant ebb and flow to this match. When Watanabe/Higashino looked to be struggling, they put together 7 straight points to go 10-7! And from there, the Thai pair win four points in a row. A brilliant rally at 10-10.
Mixed doubles final: Japanese pair are fighting back. 7-7 now.
Mixed doubles final: The commentators reckon Watanabe is not alright... something bothering him and it is showing. The Thai pair are racing away with this. 4-0 in the 2nd game.
Mixed doubles final: The Thai pair are off to a flier! Dechapol on fire, Sapsiree going steady. The Japanese are struggling a bit, perhaps the last two finals defeats against the Thais in Bali playing on their mind.
Sapsiree Taerattanachai said in Bali after winning the WTF title: “This is so crazy. I think this is the first and last time I will ever play 50 matches in such a short space of time. I have a great team. We talk and support each other a lot. Everyone here in Bali is like my family. We are a team and we are really positive.”
Mixed doubles final: Good start for the Thai pair in a battle of familiar foes. They have won the last two meetings, the most recent at the World Tour Finals in Bali.
Mixed doubles final: First up. Mixed doubles final. Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino (JPN) vs Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai (THA). Sapsiree Taerattanachai is playing her 57th match since Tokyo 2020.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the BWF World Championships. It is finals day!
Srikanth Kidambi and Lakshya Sen gave us a semifinal to remember on Saturday. Srikanth is now in the final against red-hot Loh Kean Yew and that will be the final final on the final day of the final badminton event of 2021.
Second match of the day is a brilliant game is prospect as No 1 Tai Tzu Ying takes on No 2 Akane Yamaguchi.
Schedule for the day (starting from 2.30 pm IST)
(Screenshots in the blog courtesy Tournament Software and Disney+Hotstar)