(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
ReMARKable opportunity in men’s singles
Date: 12/16/2021 10:43 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
After five days of knockout badminton at the World Championships 2021 in Huelva, we are down to the final eight. Here is a summary of their journeys and who is facing who to fight for a podium spot. 

With surprises galore in Huelva, one thing is certain, we will see a new men’s singles champion crowned. Who will it be? 

A ReMARKable journey
Before the tournament, Dutch player Mark Caljouw had raised concern around coming straight into the World Championships without having played much badminton. Post-Olympics, Caljouw underwent a heart procedure and has been focused on recovering. A brief appearance in France saw him pull out after 11 minutes – he wasn’t ready. 

For him to embark on a physically gruelling run to the quarterfinal is nothing shy of remarkable. Today he defeated the promising talent of Brian Yang, 22-20, 21-12 and will now square off with twelfth-seed Srikanth Kidambi for the first time. Stunned by what he has achieved, he simply told his fans.

- I just reached the quarterfinals of the world championships! Amazing, happy and proud! 

The art of resting by winning
The Singaporean sensation, Loh Kean Yew, after defeating Olympic Champion Viktor Axelsen, has only lost a total of 23 points in his two subsequent matches, booking a spot in the quarterfinals. When asked if he will have fuel in the tank after playing with the pedal to the metal, he responds with an interesting perspective on his approach. 

-Finishing the match to go back and rest is also part of resting, Loh said with a laugh.

He will now face H. S. Prannoy who has found some form at the right time and defeated Rasmus Gemke in dramatic fashion, 22-20 in the third. 

It will be fun
Anders Antonsen continued his own straight-game run, spending just 125 minutes on court against Vladimir Malkov, Niluka Karunaratne and Lee Cheuk Yiu. The number three seed will face Lee Zii Jia, who defeated Antonsen’s friend and podcast co-host, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus. 

Lee needed yet again three games to make it through and has now spent 41 minutes more on court than his opponent tomorrow. Antonsen leads a 2-1 head-to-head, but the last time they met was a win for Lee at home two years ago.

-It will be fun. I haven’t played Lee in a long time. He has become a great, great player. It will be a tough challenge against me, Antonsen stated.

- Mentally and physically I am almost done…It will be a very tough match against Antonsen. I have to prepare myself well, Lee admitted. 

For the full results and fixtures, click here

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