Seoul: Korea’s former World No. 1 men’s singles player Lee Hyun-Il has announced his retirement from badminton at the age of 39. Lee’s The retirement ceremony was held in the Miryang City Hall, South Korea, together with the 2010 Asian Championships men’s doubles gold medalist Cho Gun-Woo.
Lee is currently the oldest active men’s singles player in badminton. His was once regarded as the player with most perfect footwork by many fans.
The 39-year-old joined the Korean national team at the age of 15 and has won fourth place in the Olympic Games twice (2008 Beijing, 2012 London). He also helped South Korea won the 2002, 2014 Asian Games men’s team gold medal and also played an important role contributing to Korea’s 2003 Sudirman Cup victory. Lee was ranked World No. 1 in 2004, and in 2006, Lee took bronze medal at the World Championships in Madrid.
This was actually not the first time Lee has retired from professional badminton. He has once retired from badminton in September 2012, but returned from his retirement at the end of 2013. He told the media that he would like to compete until he reaches 40 years old. At 2018 Macau Grand Prix, the 38-year-old Lee took home the title by becoming the oldest player to ever win a BWF sanctioned tournaments.
It was reported that after his retirement, Lee would become a badminton coach in New Zealand.