Yoo Yeon Seong to partner Lee Yong Dae

After a one-year partnership, Lee Yong Dae and Ko Sung Hyun are to be split, says a report today in Korean tabloid Sports Chosun.  Lee will soon be playing with […]

After a one-year partnership, and Ko Sung Hyun are to be split, says a report today in Korean tabloid Sports Chosun.  Lee will soon be playing with current world #8 and Ko’s former partner Yoo Yeon Seong in a partnership that should be a year old by the time the Incheon Asian Games begin next autumn.

Sports Chosun quotes Korean National Team Head Coach Lee Deuk Choon as saying, “The Asian Games are only a year away so we couldn’t delay any longer.  I had to make a decision and find another breakthrough.”

The article mentions the poor showing by Ko/Lee at last month’s World Championships, where they suffered a first-time loss to Chinese Taipei’s Lee/Tsai, and to last week’s outing in Taipei, where they lost to an unseeded Indonesian pair.  Ko Sung Hyun was originally tipped as a fitting replacement to the retired Jung Jae Sung – with whom Lee won two All England titles and an Olympic bronze medal – because of his power game and all-round solid play.  However, questions have been raised about Ko’s lack of aggression and leadership on court.

What will happen will actually end up as a straight partner switch as Ko Sung Hyun will now be playing with Shin Baek Cheol, with whom he already plays in domestic tournaments in Korea, as they both represent the Kimcheon City Hall team.  They will no doubt get competition court time earlier, as they are almost certain to be represent Gyeongbuk Province in the upcoming National Sports Festival in Incheon, a domestic precursor to next year’s Asian Games.

Meanwhile, Ko and Lee have gained entry to the quarter-finals of what could be their last tournament together, the ongoing Adidas China Masters in Changzhou.  They are on a collision course with 4th seeds Liu Xiaolong / Qiu Zihan, against whom they have lost three consecutive matches in 2013.

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net