Badminton Life

Lee Yong Dae Interview

Date: 15/7/2011

It is our great pleasure to bring you this interview with Mr. Lee Yong Dae, a national badminton doubles player of South Korea. Although we were not able to meet him personally, Lee Yong Dae agreed to grant us an interview conducted via e-mail to share his thoughts and experience on Badminton.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our good friend, Mr. Daegeun Kim, a former national badminton doubles player for making this interview possible. Ever since retiring from badminton, Mr. Kim's keen interest in badminton has led him to run his own badminton training school in Korea. Also, we would like to thank Ms. Sun Park for translating the interview. Good job to both of you!!!

We hope you enjoy this interview and if you are keen to read the original interview in Korean language, you can download the file at the end of this page. Enjoy!

1. At what age did you start playing Badminton?

I started playing badminton since 8 years old (9 in Korean age) when I was in second grade in an elementary school.

2. Was it your childhood dream to become a professional badminton player?

No. it wasn't. My dream was to become a baseball player instead.

3. Are you good at other sports other than Badminton?

I am not an expert at any, but since I enjoy sports I do know how to play a few.

4. How Big is Badminton in Korea? It ranks as No. what sport in the Country?

Even though badminton gained its popularity recently, it isn't still as big as other sports such as soccer, baseball and basketball.

5. Did you always play doubles from the start or were you a Singles player?

From the beginning, I started as both doubles and singles player and then concentrated on doubles since 18 years old in high school.

6. How many partners did you have in Men's doubles before this?

I had about five partners until now.

7. Would doubles player make good singles player and would singles player make good doubles player? No one has managed to be dominant in both field? Do you think it's possible to be successful and dominant in both field?

Due to the difference between doubles and singles, I believe it would be very challenging to be successful in both field.

8. How come there are no dominant pair unlike the singles where you have Lin Dan as the dominant player and in the women section, there are consistent winners?

In my personal opinion, Lin Dan is very special with his gifted talent whereas other fields do not have much difference in terms of ability.

9. Which doubles pair do you find hardest to beat at the moment?

I feel that Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan from Indonesia are probably the most challenging.

10. Which disciples do you enjoy playing most? Men's doubles or Mix doubles?

I prefer men's doubles.

11. For you, which disciple is more important? Men's doubles or Mix doubles?

Although I try my very best to succeed in both, Men's doubles carry more weight.

12. Since you participate in both disciples in all major events and always progress far in both, would you consider it a distraction and maybe want to concentrate on just either Men's or Mix doubles in the future?

I would like to have a better result in men's doubles.

13. For you, which is the hardest skill to master or perfect in Badminton?

While Defending and net-play are the most challenging, I am trying to overcome through training.

14. How much of Badminton is mental rather than skills and physical attributes?

I strongly believe that all skills and strategies are based on a strong and clear will power which is also from physical strength. Thus, physical strength is important.

15. What is your strength in your game?

My strengths are Drive and Control.

16. Which part of your game can be improved?

I am trying to improve mainly on my strength/ power through weight training.

17. What is your career highlight?

The best moment would be winning the gold medal during Beijing Olympics as mixed doubles.

18. Which incident would you consider as a low point of your career?

The worst moment would be failing the first round of men's doubles in Beijing Olympics.

19. Which player do you admire the most in your lifetime?

Ha Tae-Kwon from S. Korea.

20. Who do you regard as the greatest doubles player of all time in the World?

Because they had great results from variety of international games, I feel Park Ju Bong and Kim Moon Soo is the greatest doubles.

21. Which tournament you most want to win and why?

I am doing my best to win the major international tournaments.

22. What do you do in your spare time?

I like to spend time with friends or watch TV.

23. How would you describe the rewards from Badminton as opposed to other sports and does it give enough for a comfortable retirement?

Recent games rewards have increased compare to the past, however there's still room for improvements.

24. What do you hope to achieve before you retire?

I would like to win the grand slam including Asian games and International games.

25. What advice would you give to those young and aspiring Badminton players, any advice?

Always work and learn harder than the others.

26. In your opinion, who are the up and coming doubles players in World Badminton?

Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen

27. In your opinion, what more can be done to promote Badminton in Korea and in the World?

All players from all over the world should co-operate playing variety of leagues around the world to show and prove that badminton is fun to play.

Click here to download the Original Korean Language version of this Interview with Lee Yong Dae

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