Korean National Team 2021 – Former world #1 in, current #10 out

Rio Olympic bronze medallist Jung Kyung Eun is the highest-profile casualty of the Korean national badminton team tryouts for 2021, while former Korea Masters winner Jeon Hyeok Jin and 2017 […]

Rio Olympic bronze medallist is the highest-profile casualty of the Korean badminton team tryouts for 2021, while former Korea Masters winner Jeon Hyeok Jin and 2017 World Junior Champion Lee Yu Rim have rejoined the team after nearl 3 years away.

Photos: Badmintonphoto

The Badminton Korea Association (BKA) published today its national team for 2021.  The 6-day selection process was concluded on Saturday.  The singles selections featured a straightforward round-robin tournament, which yielded 7 men and 5 women for the national team to take their places alongside the one man and three women currently with a realistic shot at meeting the Olympic qualification requirements.

Exempt from men’s singles was world #32 Heo Kwang Hee.  As the highest-ranked Korean in the discipline, he would get the nod were Tokyo qualifying to end now.  Former world #1 Son Wan Ho missed most of the Olympic qualifying period and is ranked 56th in the world.  He lost two matches in his round-robin group but beat Jeon Hyeok Jin (pictured above), who also finished 5-2.  Jeon returns to the national team nearly 3 years after his last international outing.

The only undefeated singles players were Lee Yun Gyu on the men’s side, and Sim Yu Jin in the women’s singles.  The 23-year-old Lee rejoins the national team after 2 years away.  Leaving the singles squad were 4 men and 1 woman.  Three of these were newly named to the team right before the pandemic hit and the other 2 played 6 tournaments between them in 2019.

The doubles players changed in different ways.  While in 2020, there were 14 male and 10 female doubles players, this year it was back to 12 each.  The most notable change there was the absence from the final roster of current world #10 Jung Kyung Eun (pictured top).  Jung and Baek Ha Na won the 2019 Denmark Open and were just one world ranking spot behind Chang Ye Na and Kim Hye Rin, who were exempted from trying out.  The 30-year-old Jung Kyung Eun teamed up with Chang Ye Na to win two nationwide titles last year.

Jung’s partner Baek Ha Na was named to the team, as was her former junior partner Lee Yu Rim (pictured), with whom she hasn’t played since the 2018 Uber Cup, just before Lee injured her knee.

6 men with next to no international exposure were replaced with 4, including 17-year-old Jin Yong, the youngest player on the 2021 squad.

The 2021 Korea national badminton team roster is shown below.  Players returning to the team are shown in blue, while those joining the national squad for the first time are in green.

Men Women
Heo Kwang Hee World #32 An Se Young World #9
Cho Geon Yeop Group A #1 Sung Ji Hyun World #14
Kim Dong Hoon Group A #2 Kim Ga Eun World #17
Kim Joo Wan Group A #3 Jeon Joo I Group A #1
Lee Yun Gyu Group B #1 Kim Na Yeong Group A #2
Son Wan Ho Group B #2 Sim Yu Jin Group B #1
Jeon Hyeok Jin Group B #3 Lee Se Yeon Group B #2
Kang Hyung Seok Overall #7 Park Min Jeong Overall #5
Men Women
Seo Seung Jae World #6 Lee So Hee World #4
Choi Sol Gyu World #8 Shin Seung Chan World #4
Kim Won Ho Assessment #1 Kim So Yeong World #6
Kang Min Hyuk Assessment #2 Kong Hee Yong World #6
Kim Jae Hwan Assessment #3 Chae Yoo Jung World #6
Park Kyung Hoon Assessment #4 Chang Ye Na World #9
Na Sung Seung Assessment #5 Kim Hye Rin World #9
Wang Chan Assessment #6 Jeong Na Eun Assessment #1
Jin Yong Assessment #7 Kim Hye Jeong Assessment #2
Kim Hwi Tae Assessment #8 Baek Ha Na Assessment #3
Kim Jae Hyeon Assessment #9 Lee Yu Rim Assessment #4
Kim Young Hyuk Assessment #10 Park Se Eun Assessment #5
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