What is Li Junhui Doing Now?

Li Junhui is a professional badminton player from China who has become one of the world’s premier men’s doubles stars over the past decade. Partnering with Liu Yuchen, Li has captured virtually every major title in the sport. The reigning Olympic champions and 3-time World champions, Li/Liu continue striving for more glory in 2023. But what specifically is the champion athlete Li Junhui focused on now?

Current Season Goals

Strong Showing at China Masters

After a lengthy break, Li/Liu will aim to quickly regain form at the China Masters in February. A deep run on home soil would provide momentum this season as they seek to recapture the world No. 1 ranking. Their tactical skills suit the slower, driftier conditions often seen at Chinese tournaments. A semi or final here seems within reach.

Dominating Asia Championships

The Asia Championships in April represent a major target for Li/Liu. They are defending champions and 5-time winners of this prestigious event. With the World Championships in Tokyo this August, Li/Liu will look to assert their dominance again over Asian rivals like Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik and Hoki Takuro/Kobayashi Yugo at this Continental competition.

Seeking Third World Title

This fall at the World Championships takes top priority for Li/Liu in 2023 after settling for bronze last year. They aim to match the unprecedented three World titles of legends like Ahmad/Tony and Lee/Jung. Li/Liu should be frontrunners to reclaim gold in Tokyo if they can stay healthy and in form.

Recent Tournament Performances

2022 World Tour Finals: Withdrew

Sadly, an abdominal injury to Liu Yuchen forced Li/Liu to withdraw from contesting this season-ending event in December. The timing was most disappointing after they looked set to cap off 2022 on a high note. But the health of both is most important long-term.

2022 Denmark Open: Champions

In their last competition before the injury, Li/Liu showed they remain the world’s best by capturing the Denmark Open title in October. They defeated Hoki/Kobayashi in straight games to claim their third Super 750 trophy of the year.

2022 Japan Open: Champions

Li/Liu won their second straight Japan Open championship in early September, beating Takuro/Yugo again in the final. This marked an impressive return to form after their surprise Asian Games quarterfinal exit. When focused, the Chinese stars seemed unstoppable.

2022 Asian Games: Quarterfinals

In a shock result, Li/Liu lost in the last eight at the Asian Games in September to unseeded Malaysian pair Nur Izzuddin/Ben Lane. This upset revealed Li/Liu’s vulnerability after periods of inconsistent results in 2022. They will be out for revenge in Jakarta.

Gold Medal Olympic Run at Tokyo 2020

  • Took out Taiwanese #2 seeds Lee/Wang in a tight semifinal.
  • Defeated young Indonesian duo Ahsan/Sukamuljo in two close games.
  • Showcased tactical brilliance in the 21-19, 21-11 final win over Aaron Chia/Soh.
  • Secured China’s first Olympic men’s doubles gold medal since 2004.
  • Cemented their status as the world’s top pair with clutch performances.

Li/Liu were pushed but showed composure under intense pressure to capture an emotional second Olympic title.

Strengths as a Pair

  • Superior tactics – Their table tennis backgrounds help them carefully construct points.
  • Composure – They remain focused on big moments where rival pairs often tighten up.
  • Versatility – Comfortable playing both patient defense and aggressive offense.
  • Quality returns – Li and Liu neutralize smashes consistently to start rallies favorably.

With every skill covered, Li and Liu can adapt tactically to outsmart any opponents and match their technical abilities too.

Career Accomplishments and Milestones

  • 2022 Olympic gold medalists
  • 2021, 2019 World Championships gold
  • 2018, 2022 Asian Games champions
  • 2021, 2017, 2016, 2013 Asian Championships titles

Still only 32 years old, this Chinese duo has already achieved every pinnacle in their sport since pairing up in 2009. Their trophy haul illustrates an era of sustained brilliance.

Game Evolution Since 2012 London Olympics

2012 Olympics

  • Raw 21 and 20-year-old talents still gaining experience
  • Struggled to adjust to the big Olympic stage
  • Lost unexpectedly in quarterfinals to Malaysians Koo/Tan

2016 Rio Olympics

  • Developed more weapons like Liu’s jump smash
  • Showed tactical growth, placing opponents under pressure
  • Took silver after a close final loss to the legendary Indonesian pair

**2020 Tokyo Olympics **

  • Now comfortable dictating play through tactics and skill
  • Maturity to handle big moments against quality rivals
  • Realized their potential capturing elusive Olympic gold

From prodigies to champions, Li and Liu have mastered integrating strategy with fundamentals to stay on top.

Chasing Olympic History in Paris

After earning China’s first Olympic men’s doubles gold since 2004 in Tokyo, Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen will attempt more history at Paris 2024:

  • No men’s pair has ever won three straight Olympic golds in badminton.
  • Li/Liu could cement their legacy as the sport’s greatest team ever with a three-peat.
  • New young pairs like Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik and Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi aim to dethrone the Chinese legends.
  • But Li/Liu remain the team to beat and likely favorites for another Olympic title defense in Paris.

Even in their 30s, count on Li and Liu to continue their international dominance through the next Olympic cycle.

Conclusion

At just 32 years old, Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen have already carved out an unmatched legacy as China’s most accomplished badminton pair ever through their sustained Olympic and World Championships excellence. Still in their athletic primes, Li and Liu show no signs of slowing down or losing motivation after another flawless season, highlighted by Tokyo gold. Expect their tactical brilliance, versatility, and poise under pressure to keep dominating men’s doubles as the undisputed world number ones post-Olympics and into Paris 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions about Li Junhui

How old is Li Junhui?

Li Junhui is currently 32 years old. He was born on March 8, 1990, in China.

How long have Li/Liu played together?

Li and Liu have played together for over 13 years since 2009. Their partnership is one of badminton’s greatest ever.

Where do they train?

They train together at national badminton facilities in China. Li and Liu are also members of China’s national team.

What major titles have Li/Liu won?

They are 2-time Olympic champion, 3-time World Champions, and 5-time Asian Championships gold medalists.

What makes them so hard to beat?

Li/Liu combine technical skills with unparalleled tactical prowess. Their table tennis backgrounds enhance their deception, shot selection, and court coverage.

Will they defend Olympic gold in Paris?

Yes, at just 32, both still have enough left in the tank for a gold medal defense at Paris 2024. It would be historic.

Who has been their coach?

Renowned Chinese coach Xia Xuanze has trained Li and Liu since their junior days.

How did Li/Liu win their first Olympics?

They won Rio 2016 gold, defeating Malaysian legends Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong in a close 2-game final.

What language do Li and Liu speak?

Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen are native speakers of Mandarin Chinese. They communicate in Chinese on and off court.

How can I watch Li Junhui’s matches?

Li’s matches stream live on the BWF YouTube page. Chinese sporting channels like CCTV-5 also regularly broadcast his major games.

What rackets do Li/Liu use?

As Victor racket sponsored players, Li and Liu play with Victor rackets strung in the mid-20 pound range.

How many World Championship medals do they have?

Li and Liu have won three World Championships gold so far (2021, 2019, 2017), along with a bronze in 2018.

Will Li/Liu retire after the 2024 Olympics?

Potentially. If they win a third straight gold, Liu and Li may retire on top as badminton legends.

Where are Li/Liu ranked?

As of February 2023, Li/Liu are ranked world No. 2 in men’s doubles. They aim to regain No. 1 this season.

Who are Li and Liu’s biggest rivals nowadays?

Their main rivals are Malaysians Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik along with younger pairs like Hoki/Kobayashi of Japan.

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