• Yong-dae the accidental badminton hero (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: As a young boy, Lee Yong-dae of South Korea picked up badminton in a bid to lose weight.

    Not only did he go on to shed some kilos, but the 25-year-old also grew to become one of the heavyweights in the doubles event.

    In fact, he is one of the most admired players in the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.The Korean mixed doubles pair Lee Yong-dae (right) and Shin Seung-chan in action in the first round of the Maybank Malaysian Open on Jan 15, 2014. Yond-dae's primary objective this year is to do well in the Asian Games.

    And the Olympic Games gold medallist says he owes it all to his mother.

    “I was quite chubby when I was eight years old and my mother signed me up with a badminton club so that I could lose weight,” he said with a smile.

    “Within a year, I lost some pounds... I can’t remember how many kilos but I decided to stop as my mission was accomplished.

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