BEIJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- For the very first time in history, badminton powerhouse China will have foreign coaches in its national team.
Former South Korea national team head coach Kang Kyung-jin and former men's doubles player Yoo Yong-sung will join Team China as doubles coaches, the Chinese Badminton Association announced on Thursday.
Kang, 46, won the men's doubles title at the 1997 All-England Open as a player. Starting his coaching career after retirement, he had coached big names including London Olympic silver medalists Jung Jae-sung/Lee Yong-dae, and led South Korea to upset China in the 2017 Sudirman Cup final.
Yoo, 44, was a two-time Olympic men's doubles silver medalist paired with Lee Dong-soo.
"South Korea has been a leading power in doubles. Hope Kang Kyung-jin and Yoo Yong-sung can bring us the philosophy and training method of S. Korea and adapt them to fit Chinese players. In this way, we can lift China's doubles to a higher level," said Zhang Jun, president of the Association.
Experienced Chinese coach Li Mao made his return to the national team coaching staff after leaving his post in 1998. The 61-year-old will be in charge of the men's singles to get prepared for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
"Li Mao is an experienced coach with great sense of responsibility and has a unique way of training. He once coached men's singles elites including Dong Jiong and Sun Jun and had coaching experience in the South Korea and Malaysia national teams. His return will help our young players and young coaches improve," Zhang commented.
China just had their worst World Championships performance in Basel, Switzerland last month, claiming only one gold from mixed doubles in five events.