Incheon: South Korea have never had any shortage of men’s doubles talent, starting with Park Joo-bong and Kim Moon-soo in the 90’s, the 1992 Barcelona Olympics gold medalist was one of the badminton’s most formidable men’s doubles of all time; followed by Ha Tae-kwon and Kim Dong-moon (2004 Athens Olympics Gold medalist), Lee Dong-soo and Yoo Yong-sung in the 2000’s; Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung from 2007 to 2012; and now, the Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-seong pair has risen to world number one in BWF ranking despite being together in less than a year.
The pair has shown their incredible firepower with astonishing performance of late by winning three Superseries titles – Japan Open, Indonesia Open, and Australian Open consecutively. However, Lee/Yoo is facing daunting task of winning the Asian Games title as they will need to overcome world number 2 Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan from Indonesia and world number 3 Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa from Japan.
“There is definitely pressure especially playing in front of the home crowd and playing with one of the best men’s doubles player in world (Lee Yong-dae). I think I just have to deal with the pressure and perform well when it matters most,” said Yoo Yeon-seong.
As for Lee Yong-dae – the 2008 Olympic gold in the mixed doubles and the 2012 Olympic bronze in the men’s doubles, said on Wednesday that he would like to clinch the Asian Games gold medal this time.
“I’ve played in three Asian Games, but I’ve never win any gold. I’ve been preparing for the tournament for a while, and I wanted to play as if it is my last Asian Games,” said Lee Yong-dae.
The South Korean badminton head coach – Lee Deuk-choon said Lee and Yoo complement each other wonderfully.
“Lee Yong-dae is a killer on the net, and is speedy on transition, his smashing has also improved tremendously,” said the coach.
“Yoo Yeon-seong is very aggressive and he plays good serves and nice net shots,” added Lee Deuk-choon.
The coach didn’t sound too concern about threats from the Indonesian and Japanese pair at Asiad as Lee/Yoo has defeated Ahsan/Setiawan twice this year – in Japan Open final, and Indonesia Open final.