Tuesday, 16 Jul 2024

News | BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals

Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, and Singapore will compete in Group A of the Thomas Cup, which is considered the toughest group in the draw. Leading the charge for Singapore at the TotalEnergies BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2022 is world champion Loh Kean Yew. His matches against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting/Jonatan Christie, Heo Kwanghee, and Kunlavut Vitidsarn are expected to bring excitement to each tie, regardless of the outcome.

Loh ended 2021 on a high note with his remarkable performance at the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships. His coach, Kelvin Ho, who is currently Singapore’s national singles head coach, has been working with him for several years and has witnessed his rise firsthand. In this two-part interview, Kelvin Ho discusses Kean Yew’s training, mindset during the World Championships, and what we can expect from him in the future.

Kean Yew’s Training in Dubai with Viktor Axelsen

Kean Yew has spoken about how his training sessions with Viktor Axelsen in Dubai have helped him. As his coach, Kelvin Ho views this training program positively. While Kean Yew follows the training program in Dubai, Kelvin Ho keeps in touch with him through Whatsapp and videos of the training sessions. If Kelvin notices any areas where Kean Yew needs improvement, he communicates it to him.

Loh Kean Yew and Kelvin Ho
Loh Kean Yew and Kelvin Ho.

Kelvin acknowledges that the training program in Dubai is different from their own program in Singapore. The Dubai program follows a European style of training, with shorter durations and higher intensity. In contrast, the Asian training style involves longer durations. Kelvin believes that Asian coaches should learn from the European style of training to improve their players’ intensity, while still maintaining the importance of endurance in badminton.

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Evolving Coaching Methods

Kelvin Ho’s coaching methods have evolved over the years. He has worked with coach Mulyo Handoyo to develop a style of play that focuses on consistency, shot quality, shot pressure, and shot accuracy. They also emphasize building the player’s character and integrating practice drills that can be replicated in a game. Kelvin is open to learning from different training approaches and plans to apply the unique training model from Dubai to his own program.

An emotional moment after the final
An emotional moment after the final.

Kelvin believes that the Dubai training program, where players from different countries train together, is beneficial for all players. Although they may not be friends on the court, off-court camaraderie promotes badminton as a whole. Kelvin appreciates the exposure the players get through this training program and believes it helps them improve their focus and trigger their bodies in different ways.

Kelvin expresses his gratitude to Viktor Axelsen, the Singapore association, and everyone who supported Kean Yew’s participation in the training program in Dubai.

The World Championships Journey

Reflecting on the World Championships, Kelvin admits that they had to mentally prepare to face Viktor Axelsen in the first round. They knew they had to give their all and play strategically. Kean Yew had trained with various players in different countries, including Lee Cheuk Yiu, Ng Ka Long, and Wang Tzu Wei, which contributed to his growth and maturity as a player. The exposure to intense training, including training with Viktor Axelsen during the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in Bali, allowed Kean Yew to arrive at the World Championships with confidence and consistency.

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Kean Yew's speed and attacking intensity
Kean Yew’s speed and attacking intensity.

Throughout the tournament, Kean Yew exhibited incredible speed and attacking intensity. Kelvin attributes this to Kean Yew’s hunger and motivation to win. The victory over Viktor Axelsen in the first round fueled his desire to create history for Singapore, driving him to give his all in every match. Kelvin notes that Kean Yew’s focus on the game and determination to win allowed him to maintain his energy and avoid distractions.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the interview.

FAQs

Q: How has training with Viktor Axelsen in Dubai helped Loh Kean Yew?
A: Training with Viktor Axelsen in Dubai has been beneficial for Loh Kean Yew. He follows the training program in Dubai and maintains contact with his coach through communication platforms. The Dubai training program has a European style, which incorporates shorter durations and higher intensity. This training approach has contributed to Kean Yew’s development as a player.

Q: Is Kelvin Ho adapting his coaching methods based on Kean Yew’s inputs?
A: Yes, Kelvin Ho constantly tweaks his coaching methods based on the inputs he receives from Kean Yew. They have built a style of play that emphasizes consistency, shot quality, shot pressure, and shot accuracy. This approach takes into account the player’s character and focuses on integrating practices that can be replicated in a game.

Q: How did Kean Yew’s training in Dubai differ from the Asian training style?
A: Kean Yew’s training in Dubai followed a European style, which has shorter durations and higher intensity. In contrast, the Asian training style involves longer durations. Kelvin Ho believes that Asian coaches should learn from the European style to improve their players’ intensity while still maintaining the importance of endurance in badminton.

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Q: How did Kean Yew’s hunger and motivation contribute to his success at the World Championships?
A: Kean Yew’s hunger and motivation played a significant role in his success at the World Championships. After defeating Viktor Axelsen in the first round, his desire to create history for Singapore grew stronger. He remained focused and determined throughout the tournament, which allowed him to maintain his speed and attacking intensity.

Conclusion

Loh Kean Yew’s remarkable performance at the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships and his training in Dubai with Viktor Axelsen have contributed to his growth and success as a player. Kelvin Ho, his coach, continues to adapt his coaching methods to maximize Kean Yew’s potential. The Dubai training program, where players from different countries come together, has proven to be a beneficial and stimulating experience. Kean Yew’s hunger and motivation have played a pivotal role in his journey to the World Championships. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this interview to learn more about Kean Yew’s journey and future plans.