Former world No. 1 Son Wan Ho announced today that he is retiring from the Korean national team.

“I’ve been in the national team for a long time. I have decided to call it quits because I think I should give my juniors a chance,” 33-year-old Son told Yonhap News Agency.

Son has been the number one men’s singles player for South Korea for almost 10 years. He competed at the London and the Rio Olympics.

In March 2019, he unfortunately suffered an Achilles tendon injury during a domestic tournament and was sidelined for 7 months. This caused him to miss out on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games because of insufficient ranking points.

He was selected back to the national team in January this year after performing well in the national team selection tournament.

Regarding his current condition and his future plans, Son said, “My ankle is much better now. It doesn’t have a big impact on training and matches.”

“I will continue to compete in domestic tournaments as a member of the Miryang City Hall club. If there is a sponsor, I would also like to participate in international tournaments as an independent player,” he added.

Son Wan Ho was part of the South Korean team that won the 2017 Sudirman Cup. He also won the bronze at the 2017 World Championships.

Son got married to fellow teammate Sung Ji Hyun late last year. He said that Sung has been understanding about his decision to retire from the national team.

The two of them currently live as a weekend couple as they play for different badminton clubs.