Badminton: Loh Kean Yew gets Olympic campaign off to winning start

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SINGAPORE: Badminton player Loh Kean Yew got his Olympic campaign off to a winning start when he beat IOC Refugee Olympic Teams Aram Mahmoud on Monday (Jul 26).

Loh, ranked 42nd in the world, saw off the challenge21-15, 21-12 at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza.

But Loh would not have things easy in the first set as Mahmoud, ranked 172nd, stayed within striking distance. The Singaporean went into the interval 11-8 ahead.

Loh managed to stretch his lead, with some slick play at the net taking his lead to 17-10, before winning the first set.

Mahmoud got off to a decent start in the second, before the Singaporean found his footing and a deft backhand return put him 5-3 up. And despite a spirited effort, Loh eventually pulled away for the victory.

The IOC unveiled its first refugee team at the Rio Games to raise awareness of the issue. The Tokyo Games features 29 athletes who will compete under the Olympic flag.

Loh, 24, will next face Indonesias Jonatan Christie, who beatMahmoud earlier in the tournament.

Christie is the seventh seed in the tournament, while Loh is unseeded. The winner of their clash will top their group and progress to the next round.

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