Seoul: After Lee Yong-Dae, Kim Sa-rang and Bae Yeon-Joo’s retirement from the Korean national team at the end of last year, former men’s doubles world champion and former World No. 1 mixed doubles specialist – Ko Sung-Hyun, became the latest badminton player to leave the Korean national team.
Ko Sung-Hyun who has spent 10 years with the Korean national, has decided to quit the national team in order to pursue his PHD degree in Sports Psychology.
“I’ve been studying sport psychology for a while and I like that specialty a lot. I’m hoping to develop my future career in psychology,” said Ko.
Ko Sung-Hyun is currently a doctoral student in Sports Psychology at Andong National University. It is a government-operated university in Andong City, North Gyeongsang province, South Korea.
The Korean doubles specialist will leave the Korean national team by end of January.
“The psychology theories could be very vague and very general. But when I applied those theories in real life, I can understand them better because I am a professional athlete and I have those real life experience,” said Ko.
Although Ko will no longer be part of the Korean national team, but that does not stop him from playing badminton.
“Badminton is still fun, I will continue playing badminton as a member of the Kimcheon City team.”
“I’ve been thinking about retiring from badminton after the Rio Olympics, however, I’ve waited until right now.”
Besides playing for the Kimcheon City team, Ko will also participate in overseas leagues such as China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Ko and Shin Baek-Cheol won gold in 2014 BWF World Championships by defeating the first seed and also their own teammates, Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-Seong. Ko and Kim Ha-Na who were the No. 2 mixed doubles pair in Rio, lost to Xu Chen/Ma Jin in the quarter-finals of Rio Olympics. Ko Sung-Hyun and Kim Ha-Na won their last tournament together at the 2016 Korean Open where they defeated the current World No. 1 mixed doubles pair Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen 21-14, 21-19.