Rio Olympic bronze medallist Jung Kyung Eun is the highest-profile casualty of the Korean national badminton team tryouts for 2021, while former Korea Masters winner Jeon Hyeok Jin and 2017 World Junior Champion Lee Yu Rim have rejoined the team after nearl 3 years away.
The Badminton Korea Association (BKA) published today its national team for 2021. The 6-day selection process was concluded on Saturday. The singles selections featured a straightforward round-robin tournament, which yielded 7 men and 5 women for the national team to take their places alongside the one man and three women currently with a realistic shot at meeting the Olympic qualification requirements.
Exempt from men’s singles was world #32 Heo Kwang Hee. As the highest-ranked Korean in the discipline, he would get the nod were Tokyo qualifying to end now. Former world #1 Son Wan Ho missed most of the Olympic qualifying period and is ranked 56th in the world. He lost two matches in his round-robin group but beat Jeon Hyeok Jin (pictured above), who also finished 5-2. Jeon returns to the national team nearly 3 years after his last international outing.
The only undefeated singles players were Lee Yun Gyu on the men’s side, and Sim Yu Jin in the women’s singles. The 23-year-old Lee rejoins the national team after 2 years away. Leaving the singles squad were 4 men and 1 woman. Three of these were newly named to the team right before the pandemic hit and the other 2 played 6 tournaments between them in 2019.
The doubles players changed in different ways. While in 2020, there were 14 male and 10 female doubles players, this year it was back to 12 each. The most notable change there was the absence from the final roster of current world #10 Jung Kyung Eun (pictured top). Jung and Baek Ha Na won the 2019 Denmark Open and were just one world ranking spot behind Chang Ye Na and Kim Hye Rin, who were exempted from trying out. The 30-year-old Jung Kyung Eun teamed up with Chang Ye Na to win two nationwide titles last year.
Jung’s partner Baek Ha Na was named to the team, as was her former junior partner Lee Yu Rim (pictured), with whom she hasn’t played since the 2018 Uber Cup, just before Lee injured her knee.
6 men with next to no international exposure were replaced with 4, including 17-year-old Jin Yong, the youngest player on the 2021 squad.
The 2021 Korea national badminton team roster is shown below. Players returning to the team are shown in blue, while those joining the national squad for the first time are in green.
|Heo Kwang Hee||World #32||An Se Young||World #9|
|Cho Geon Yeop||Group A #1||Sung Ji Hyun||World #14|
|Kim Dong Hoon||Group A #2||Kim Ga Eun||World #17|
|Kim Joo Wan||Group A #3||Jeon Joo I||Group A #1|
|Lee Yun Gyu||Group B #1||Kim Na Yeong||Group A #2|
|Son Wan Ho||Group B #2||Sim Yu Jin||Group B #1|
|Jeon Hyeok Jin||Group B #3||Lee Se Yeon||Group B #2|
|Kang Hyung Seok||Overall #7||Park Min Jeong||Overall #5|
|Seo Seung Jae||World #6||Lee So Hee||World #4|
|Choi Sol Gyu||World #8||Shin Seung Chan||World #4|
|Kim Won Ho||Assessment #1||Kim So Yeong||World #6|
|Kang Min Hyuk||Assessment #2||Kong Hee Yong||World #6|
|Kim Jae Hwan||Assessment #3||Chae Yoo Jung||World #6|
|Park Kyung Hoon||Assessment #4||Chang Ye Na||World #9|
|Na Sung Seung||Assessment #5||Kim Hye Rin||World #9|
|Wang Chan||Assessment #6||Jeong Na Eun||Assessment #1|
|Jin Yong||Assessment #7||Kim Hye Jeong||Assessment #2|
|Kim Hwi Tae||Assessment #8||Baek Ha Na||Assessment #3|
|Kim Jae Hyeon||Assessment #9||Lee Yu Rim||Assessment #4|
|Kim Young Hyuk||Assessment #10||Park Se Eun||Assessment #5|