by Mike Grossman

October 14, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - Park Joo Bong of Korea, rated as one of the best doubles players ever in badminton, has agreed to come to the United Kingdom to coach top players from Britain.

Park who has won several men's and mixed doubles world titles and one Olympic gold medal will be working primarily in England under Steve Baddeley, the head of elite player development for the English badminton association. Park will also be coaching Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland players under an agreement with the British Olympic Association.

After winning an Olympic gold medal in men's doubles in Barcelona in 1992, Park had retired from serious competition and had become a university lecturer of sports at a Korean unversity. He made a brief comeback in 1993 to help the Koreans win the world mixed team championships.

In late 1995, with the introduction of mixed doubles as an Olympic event, Park made a more extended comeback attempt in a bid to win a second Olympic gold medal, this time in the mixed event. During this comeback, Park dominated the mixed doubles and was ranked first worldwide with his partner, Ra Kyung Min.

His dream of winning another Olympic gold medal went unrealized when his students and proteges, Kim Dong Moon and Gil Young Ah, upset him and partner Ra in the finals of the mixed doubles in the Atlanta Olympics.

In his new role as a coach in England, Park will be following the footsteps of Lee Jae Bok, another Korean champion player who became well-known and respected in the West as a top-flight coach while based at the English National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes. Lee recently returned to Korea after completing his doctoral studies in Sports Policy at an English university.

(D. Shuttlenws, the predecessor of New Shuttlenws, had reported last year that Park Joo Bong was considering coming to England to both coach and study for a doctorate degree in Sports Science).

(e-mail: n.shuttlenws@genie.com)