THE BEST OF ASIA: Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen (China)
Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen are a Chinese men’s doubles duo who are currently ranked #4 in BWF’s world ranking for men’s doubles. Both at 26 years old, Li has a career win of 284 matches while Liu is at 331 showing their incredible dominance on the court. Recently the pair competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and brought home the silver medal and both players are part of the national team that won the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 Thomas Cup, and 2019 Sudirman Cup. Looking at their successes, they are absolutely one of Asia’s best players!
Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen have been paired together for a very long time, as early as 2012. Together, they found success early on in their badminton careers, winning the gold medal in both the BWF World Junior Championships and Asian Junior Championships against their compatriots Huang Kaixiang/Zheng Siwei both times. Fortunately, these victories in the boy’s doubles event continued on in their senior badminton careers. The following year, saw the duo achieve. Silver medal at the Asian Championships and Chinese Taipei Open, while also adding another gold medal at the India Grand Prix Gold.
However, if you thought that their success would just be stagnant here, you would be wrong. In 2015, they achieved even greater feats than they did the previous year. The Chinese pair won multiple gold medals at the China Masters, U.S., Canada, and Vietnam Open. It was victory after victory and there was no stopping this young men’s doubles pair. The next year saw them winning the Japan and Chinese Taipei Open and were runner-ups at the Korea Open and Asian Championships. But that silver from the Asian Championships quickly turned to gold when they finally won the gold medal at the tournament after defeating Chinese pair Wang Yilyu/Huang Kaixiang 21–14, 21–12.
In 2018, the pair continued their streak of success by winning the World Championships in Nanjing against Japanese pair Keigo Sonoda/Takeshi Kamura 21–12, 21–19. This was their first-ever World Championships title. In addition to being successful as a doubles pair, these two were also crucial in helping their national team win championships. In 2018 they were part of the team that helped China win the 2018 Asian Games and the 2018 Thomas Cup. An incredible achievement for Li and Liu as they brought pride to their country. In 2019 they continued on being successful with Team China as they won their first Sudirman Cup title.
But it was this year, where they made even bigger history. After delaying the Olympics by a year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Summer Olympic Games were finally held in Tokyo this July to August. Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen worked and fought hard to reach the finals and in the end became Olympic silver medalists after competing against Chinese Taipei pair Lee Yang/Wang Chi-lin. This was their first-ever Olympic win, a historic moment for the two of them.
Over the past years, Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen have dominated the game and have reached incredible heights. However just because they've been successful, doesn’t mean that they will slow down. In fact, we expect them to continue on in their path of success this year and the years beyond. We will continue to support them in their badminton journey!