2017 All England mixed doubles champion Lu Kai announced his retirement from the Chinese national team (and international badminton) through his Weibo today. He is just 28 years old.

He is the fifth high profile Chinese player to announce their departure from the Chinese national team this year – following Li Xuerui (age 28), Sun Yu (age 25), Tang Jinhua (age 27) and Yu Xiaohan (age 27).

Lu Kai posted on his Weibo:

It’s been 11 years since I first stepped in the training field of China Badminton Team in 2008, in these 11 years, I have devoted my youth and time! And I had gained glory, development, friendship from every member in this big family, and so much more! I’m very grateful for the teachings of the coaches, teammates who support and nurture each other, every staff and team doctor who contributed silently, behind every sportsman is their determination. I’m very thankful for the recognition, care and support from every fan! From today I will officially leave this big family, but no matter where I am, I sincerely wish that China Badminton Team will face all challenges smoothly and continue our glory.

In 2017, Lu Kai and Huang Ya Qiong won the All England Championships, India Open and Singapore Open. They had a total of 9 titles to their name over the years.

Huang Ya Qiong was split from him and paired up with Zheng Si Wei later that year. This came as a shock to many.

He competed with multiple partners in men’s doubles and mixed doubles categories after this. However, he never succeeded in rediscovering his past form and glory.

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