Park Joo-bong comes home with Japanese team

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Japan head coach Park Joo-bong holds aloft the Thomas Cup after they beat Malaysia 3-2 in the Thomas Cup final in New Delhi last May.

Incheon: The current head coach of Japan national badminton team and the 1992 Summer Olympics men’s doubles gold medalist Park Joo-bong (with Kim Moon-Soo) of South Korea, has very mixed feelings about coaching the Japanese tam to compete at his home country.Japan head coach Park Joo-bong holds aloft the Thomas Cup after they beat Malaysia 3-2 in the Thomas Cup final in New Delhi last May.

 

“I have been in Korea with the Japanese team before, but have I coached the team for major event such as Asian Games in Korea, it’s a completely different feeling,” said Park.

 

Park Joo-bong was the most dominant men’s doubles player from mid-80’s to early-90’s. Besides the 1992 men’s doubles Olympics gold medal, Park also won five World Championships titles and 3 gold medals in the Asian Games.

 

According to the official draw, Japanese men’s team had a bye in first round of the team event, and will face winner of the Korea-India tie in the quarterfinals.

 

Meanwhile, the Japanese women’s team will most likely play Indonesia in quarterfinals of the team event.

 

“I hope the Japanese team can win at least two medals, I am fine with either gold, silver or bronze medal,” added Park.

 

Park also offered one piece of advice to the Korean shuttlers, especially world number one men’s doubles player, Lee Yong-dae. Lee Yong-dae and his new partner Yoo Yeon-seong battled for one hour and 21 minutes before going down 20-22, 23-21, 18-21 to compatriots Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol in a thrilling men’s doubles final at World Championships three weeks ago.

 

“I saw the final, Lee Yong-dae allowed the pressure to get to him and collapsed at the most critical stage in the rubber game,” said Park. “He should handle the pressure better, and play like how he has been playing in other international tournaments, hope he will learn from this experience.”

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