BIRMINGHAM: Four-time world champion Fu Haifeng believes that his 12-year partnership with Cai Yun has come to an end.
The 30-year-old Haifeng and Cai Yun are one of the most celebrated men’s doubles pairs in the world.
Together, they have won four world titles, an Olympic gold medal (2008), and led China to the Thomas Cup for six straight editions since 2004.
Although Haifeng is not ready to call time on his career, he believes that the partnership with Cai Yun is no longer viable.
In fact, Haifeng has already started trying out several different partners since the world championships in Guangzhou last year, namely with Hong Wei and Zhang Nan.
LONDON: United, Fu Haifeng and Cai Yun stand as an unstoppable force in men's badminton doubles, hauling in four World Championships and an Olympic gold medal. Divided? One will have to fall when they meet at the All England badminton championships.
The duo said they would continue to play together after winning gold in London in 2012, but the Chinese have been experimenting with their lineups and Fu is partnering Zhang Nan, while Cai is with Kai Lu in Birmingham.
The new pairs will square off against each other in the first round proper.
"The All England is an incredible tournament and everyone who plays here wants to win," said Fu.
Badminton World Federation (BWF) International Challenge kicked off on Feb. 12 in Lingshui of Hainan Province.
The tournament attracts more than 150 players from China, the United States, Malaysia, Hongkong, China.
Among the top-ranked players competing in the tournament are Lin Dan of China and Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia as well as Olympic doubles champion Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng.
The tournament will last five days from 12 to 16. And the total prize is 50,000 US dollars.