Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lee Yong Dae

Lee Yong-dae (Hangul Hanja; born September 11, 1988 in Hwasun, Jeollanam-do) is a male badminton player from South Korea. He is considered by many to be a great talent and already a wonderful doubles player. His current partners are Jung Jae-sung in men's doubles (as of 2006) and Lee Hyo-jung in mixed doubles (as of 2007).
Lee Yong Dae started playing badminton at his local elementary school at the age of 8. His youth club is Samsung Electromechanics. He joined the national badminton team of South Korea in 2003, at the age of just 15 years old.
Lee started off 2004 with the French Open International, where he played the men singles, men doubles (with Jung Jung Yong) and mixed doubles (with Kang Hae Won) category. In the Mixed Doubles event, the pair managed to reach the semi-finals, before losing to the Russians. He also participated in several tournaments without much results. In the Vietnam Satellite, he reached the quarter-finals in the Mixed Doubles category, partnering Oh Seul Ki.
Still struggling to find the right partner, he played several tournaments without getting any big results. However, he did reach the finals of the Cheers Asian Satellite in the mixed doubles and the men doubles category. With Ha Jung-eun as his partner, he won Asian Junior Badminton Championships.
In July, Lee captured three gold medals at the Asian Junior Championships in Cheras, Malaysia where he played a pivotal role to secure the boys doubles and mixed doubles victories for South Korea and frustrate Malaysia in the mixed team final.In November, Lee made another gold medal hat trick at the BWF World Junior Championships where he led Team Korea to their first world junior championship, never allowing any single set in boys doubles, mixed doubles and mixed team event through the tournament.
Lee won the Thailand Open together with Ha Jung-eun; they had a walkover in the final against compatriots Lee Jae-jin and Hwang Ji-man. Together with Hwang Yu-mi, Lee won the mixed doubles tournament.

At the Asian Games, Lee and Jung became bronze medalists after losing the semi-finals to Luluk Hadiyanto and Alvent Yulianto of Indonesia in the individual men's doubles event. In the team event, South Korea lost to China in the final 2-3, thus gaining Lee a silver medal.
In January, Lee and Jung participated in the Malaysia Open, the first ever BWF Super Series event. There they got through the first round but had to resign due to injury. However a week later they blew away competition to take the first prize at the Korea Open. On top of that, Lee also won the mixed doubles with Lee Hyo-jung. Lee and Jung lost to Lee Jae-jin and Hwang Ji-man in the final of the German Open; in mixed doubles Lee and Lee lost to Zheng Bo and Gao Ling of China in the semi-finals. Zheng and Gao went on to win the tournament.

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