Kidambi Srikanth’s fine run in the BWF World Badminton Championship ended with a silver-medal finish after he lost the men’s singles summit clash to Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew in straight games here on Sunday.

A former world no. 1, Srikanth lost 15-21 20-22 to Malaysia-born opponent in 43 minutes.

At Carolina Marin Stadium in Huelva, Spain, the 28-year-old grabbed a commanding lead in the first game against Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew. However, he was unable to maintain the momentum and lost the tumultuous first game 15-21.

In the second game, he fought back to lead 18-16, but it was the 24-year-old Singaporean who stole the show with a remarkable final push, with the championship-winning point coming from a push that landed just inside the baseline while Srikanth watched the shuttle fly by him.

Loh, who began the season with a shock victory over Olympic champion and hot favourite Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, won gold on his first attempt. He is the first Singaporean to win a medal at the World Championships. Srikanth and Lakshya Sen added a silver and a bronze medal to India’s tally, bringing their total to 12.

Srikanth becomes the first Indian male shuttler to claim a silver medal at the prestigious event. Previously, legendary Prakash Padukone (bronze in 1983) and B Sai Praneeth (bronze in 2019) were the medal winners in men’s singles while the 20-year-old Lakshya Sen joined the elusive list on Saturday after losing to Srikanth in a nail-biting semifinal clash.

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