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BWF World Championships: World No 1 Viktor Axelsen Knocked Out In 1st Round

Denmark’s badminton star, Viktor Axelsen, fell to a shocking, 14-21, 21-9, 21-6, defeat by Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew at the Badminton World Federation World Championships in Spain on Monday.

The Olympic champion and world number one took the first game but could not withstand the attacks of Kean Yew in a match that lasted 54 minutes.

It was Kean Yew’s first victory over Axelsen after five defeats.

Loh is currently ranked 22nd in the world and will next face Austria’s Luka Wraber in the round of 32.

Loh’s victory comes weeks after he fell in three games to the Dane at the Indonesia Masters final. It was the first time Loh qualified for the final of a Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 1000 event.

The young Singaporean had earlier this year taken part in a month-long training stint with Axelsen and four other players from across the globe in Dubai.

Loh won his first career BWF World Tour Super 500 title at the Hylo Open earlier this month. He also took the Dutch Open crown in October.

Meanwhile, India’s HS Prannoy opened his campaign at the Huelva world meet with a come-back-from-behind victory over 8th seed Ng Ka Long Angus. The World No.32 from India was involved in an hour and 12 minute battle against the 9th-ranked shuttler, beating him 13-21, 21-18, 21-19 in a see-saw battle.

The victory comes as a boost for the Indian camp as former bronze medalist Sai Praneeth was ousted in the first round on Sunday at the world championships.

Prannoy will next face Malaysia’s Daren Liew in the second round of the men’s singles event.

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