It's my rice bowl: National shuttler Loh Kean Yew on his racket

In the fourth and last of a fortnightly series which explores the relationship between athletes and their equipment, Rohit Brijnath speaks to national shuttler Loh Kean Yew about his racket.

Every athlete is an original, in size and skill, in attitude and belief system. Some worship their equipment, some shine with borrowed gear. Ted Williams, who played for the Red Sox from 1939-60, put his baseball bats in a clothes dryer to squeeze out the moisture. Less particular was the Indian cricketer of the 1960s-70s, Tiger Pataudi, who - legend has it - merely picked up whichever bat was leaning near the dressing room door and went out to play.

Loh Kean Yew, the Singapore badminton player who still has the first RCL racket he ever got as an eight-year-old kid, has his own charming style. When I first meet him this year the laid-back shuttler is using a Li-Ning racket that's out of date. He shrugs, he's got enough of them, all crammed into a bag in some corner of his room. Comfort for him was more important than new design.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2019, with the headline ''It's my rice bowl''. Print Edition | Subscribe