Lee Yong-dae is a male South Korean badminton player and a veteran Doubles player in the badminton circuit. He was born on September 11, 1988 in Gwangju, South Korea. He was a specialist in doubles category.
Lee started playing badminton in his local elementary school at the age of 8 to lose weight. Lee was a member of the Hwasun Middle School Team and then he was with the Hwasun Vocational High School till the end of junior year in 2006, before he joined the Samsung Electromechanics Team.
Lee joined the national team at a very young age of 15 in 2003.
Lee then participated in French Open International in 2004, where he took part in the men’s’ singles, doubles and mixed doubles. He failed to win anything out of this tournament. He then played several other tournaments but failed to win.
Lee made his professional and International debut in the German Open in the year 2005. He failed find a good partner to help him win any silverware till 2005. Lee paired up with Ha Jung-eun to win the Asian Junior Badminton Championships.
Rise to Glory
In 2006, Lee secured three gold medals at the Asian Junior Championships in Malaysia, where he played in the Boys’ doubles, mixed doubles and mixed team.
He captured another hat-trick of Gold at the BWF World Junior Championships held in South Korea. He played for the Boys’ doubles, mixed doubles and mixed team; also achieved a feat of not dropping a single set throughout the tournament.
Lee won the Thailand Open with Ha Jung-eun and partnered with Hwang Yu-mi to win the mixed doubles event.
At the Asian Games, Lee along with his partner, Jung secured Bronze in the Men’s doubles event and secured Silver in the team event after losing to China in the finals in a close battle.
In 2007, Lee and Jung participated in Malaysia Open, his first ever BWF Super Series event. Unfortunately, they pulled out of the tournament due to injury. But, a week later, they both stunned the world to win the Korea Open.
Lee and Jung lost to their countrymen in the final of German Open, and Lee with his mixed doubles partner Lee Hyo-jung lost in the semis to Chinese pairs, who were the eventual tournament winners.
Lee and Jung claimed another title, the Swiss Open in 2007. Lee and Jung clinched the Silver medal in the 2007 BWF World Championships.
Lee and Jung did not have a good start in 2008. They lost out in the Malaysia Open and Korea Open in the beginning.
After a month, Lee and Jung showed their tenacity by winning the All England Open 2008. They beat Malaysian pair in a three game thriller semi-final, where they survived 3 match points to qualify for the final. In the final they beat Korean pair.
Lee and his mixed doubles partner, Lee Hyu-jung shocked the world as they secured Gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, and became the youngest ever Gold medalists in Olympic badminton.
In 2009, Lee and Jung continued their strong form to win Malaysian Super Series and Korean Super Series. Jung had to join the military services for few months. So, Lee paired up with Shin Baek-cheol and won the German Open.
Lee achieved his career-high rank 1 in the world after all these victories and titles.
Lee returned after a 2 month injury gap to win the men’s doubles event in the Hong Kong Super Series with Jung jae-sung. Few weeks later, Lee defended his two China Open Super Series titles, as he won the mixed doubles with Lee Hyo-jung and men’s doubles with Jung jae-sung.
Lee and Jung did not drop a single set from the group stage to the final, in the Super Series Finals held in Malaysia. They beat Denmark’s Matthias Boe and Mogensen in the final.
Lee started the year 2010 successfully by winning the Korean Open Super Series with Jung.
Lee and Lee hyo-jung won their first title of 2010 in Swiss open Super Series. Lee then missed the Thomas Cup due to injury. On return from injury, Lee and Jung won the Taiwan Gold Prix Gold. In the Asian Games, Lee and Jung secured Silver after they lost out to China in final.
Lee clinched the first title of 2011 by winning the Korea Open Super Series Premier with Jung. After the retirement of Lee Hyo-jung, he partnered with Ha Jung-eun in mixed doubles. They won the US Open Gold Prix Gold.
Lee and Jung won the China Masters by defeating Chinese pair Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng. They again beat Cai and Fu in the final to win Denmark Open Super Series Premier. Once again, Lee and Jung beat Cai and Fu in the final to win French Super Series.
In 2012, they managed to beat Cai and Fu of China to win the All England title. They also won the Indonesian Open. In the 2012 Olympics, Lee and Jung went down to Denmark pair to settle with a Bronze medal.
After his return from the ban in 2014, Lee won 3 consecutive titles, the Japan Open, Indonesian Open and the Australian Open. In the 2014 BWF World Championships, Lee and Yoo lost out in the finals to secure Silver medal, the third time for Lee.
In 2015, Lee won a total of six super series titles, Australia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Denmark and France, with Yoo Yeon Seong.
Lee and Yoo won their first of 2016 at China Masters Grand Prix Gold and second at the Badminton Asia Championships. They won their first super series title of 2016 at the Indonesia Super Series.
Lee started off 2013, with his new partner, Ko Sung Hyun and won the Victor Korea Open. Then they lost in the Malaysian Open. They lost in Quarter Finals of the German Open. A week later, they lost in the first round of All England Open 2013. They reached the finals of Indian Open but lost.
Lee and Ko split after an year of partnership. Lee paired with Yoo Yeon Seong. The pair won back to back tournaments in 2013, the Denmark Super Series Premier and Victor China Open.
In 2014, Lee Yong-dae was banned by the BWF from playing any international tournament due to his absence during a drug test. After further investigation, the ban was lifted after several months.
Lee announced that he would retire after the 2016 Summer Olympics. Lee and Yoo were the top seeds of the premier event but they lost out in the quarter finals. Lee played his last tournament alongside Yoo at Korea Open and was the winners.
Lee has a total of 793 career wins over the men’s singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles events.