Seoul: After one and a half year since they last played together at the 2017 Korea Masters Grand Prix Gold, former World No. 1 men’s pair – Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong who were ranked World No. 1 in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings for a staggering 117 weeks, will be reunited again at the 2019 Australian Open that will be held in Sydney from June 4th to June 9th.
The pair who played their final international tournament at the 2016 Korea Open Superseries by beating Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen of China in the final 16-21, 22-20, 21-18, which also allowed Lee to claim his 43rd Superseries title and 69th in total in his illustrious badminton career.
After the 2016 Korea Open, Lee/Yoo were able to reunited temporarily at the 2017 Korea Masters Grand Prix Gold where they lost to compatriots Jung Jae-Wook/Kim Gi-Jung 21-16, 11-21, 19-21 in the semi-finals. And now, the pair has scheduled to return to the competition together again at the 2019 Australian Open.
Lee came back from his retirement and won the Spain Masters on September 2nd, 2018, and the Macau Open on November 4th, 2018 partnering Kim Gi-Jung.
As for Yoo, he announced his retirement from Korean national team early 2017. He then competed internationally with two Malaysians including Lim Khim Wah and Tan Boon Heong in 2018, but didn’t produce any prominent results. He won his only tournament – Dubai International Challenge, in 2018 by partnering Kim Sang Soo.
Even though they have been long absence from the international tournament as a pair and currently do not have any world ranking points, they still had a total of 23,740 notional points which allowed them to skip the waiting list and made them eligible for the Australian Open. However, they would need to start the tournament from the qualifying rounds.