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Taiwan badminton ace Chou wins men's singles title at Thailand Masters

02/04/2024 08:51 PM
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Taiwan's top male badminton player Chou Tien-chen bites on his gold medal while holding his Thailand Masters men's singles trophy on Sunday. CNA photo Feb. 4, 2024
Taiwan's top male badminton player Chou Tien-chen bites on his gold medal while holding his Thailand Masters men's singles trophy on Sunday. CNA photo Feb. 4, 2024

Taipei, Feb. 4 (CNA) Taiwan's top male badminton player Chou Tien-chen (周天成) clinched his first title of the season by beating Singapore's Loh Kean Yew (駱建佑) in the men's singles final at the Thailand Masters on Sunday.

It took Chou more than one hour to defeat Loh, 21-16, 6-21, 21-16 at the Nimibutr Stadium in Bangkok.

In the first game, after taking a 13-12 lead, Chou scored five points in a row to seize a crucial advantage, going on to win the game 21-16.

Loh came back strong in the second game, which he won 21-6 to force a decider in which the players were inseparable at 8-8, before Chou took a 16-13 lead which he built on to reach 18-14 and then took advantage of Loh's errors to end the game 21-16.

Taiwan's top male badminton player Chou Tien-chen (right) pose with Singapore's Loh Kean Yew (left) during the Thailand Masters men's singles placement ceremony on Sunday. CNA photo Feb. 4, 2024
Taiwan's top male badminton player Chou Tien-chen (right) pose with Singapore's Loh Kean Yew (left) during the Thailand Masters men's singles placement ceremony on Sunday. CNA photo Feb. 4, 2024

Before Sunday's victory, Chou, ranked 14th in the world, had played Loh six times with the two evenly split at three victories each.

This is the first Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 300 event Chou, who turned 34 last month, has won since his fourth Hylo Open title in Saarbrücken, Germany last year.

The latest win makes Chou only the fifth men's singles player to reach a BWF World Tour Super 300 final, at the age of 34 or older.

Taiwan's top male badminton player Chou Tien-chen at the Thailand Masters men's singles finals on Sunday. CNA photo Feb. 4, 2024
Taiwan's top male badminton player Chou Tien-chen at the Thailand Masters men's singles finals on Sunday. CNA photo Feb. 4, 2024

After Sunday's match, an overjoyed Chou lay on the ground, saying that this victory proves he still has plenty of gas left in the tank and greatly helps boosts his self-confidence.

Chou received a US$15,750 winners check and 7,000 BWF points, which increases his chances of qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

(By Li Chien-chung and Evelyn Kao)

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