Li Yongbo (李永波) is the former player and current head coach of the Chinese National Badminton Team. During his coach career, he has led the Chinese badminton team to capture the Sudirman Cup five times (1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2005), the Uber Cup five times (1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006), and the Thomas Cup twice (2004 and 2006).
Born in Sept. 18, 1962 in Dalian, Liaoning Province, Li caught people’s attention in 1984 when he won second place of Men’s Doubles in the Fourth World Championships.
After Li took over the position from Wang Wenjiao and Chen Fushou as the head coach of the Chinese badminton team in 1993, he completely reshuffled the team, developed a young coaching staff and trained young players.
Li's first success came in 1995, when he led the Chinese badminton team to capture the Sudirman Cup, a mixed team event symbolizing a country's overall strength. His team again won the Sudirman Cup in 1997 and in 1999. The women players won the doubles at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. This was the first Olympic gold medal won by the Chinese badminton team since badminton became an Olympic sport in 1992. At the 1997 World Championships, China won three gold medals, demonstrating that Chinese badminton had again climbed to the top of the world. The Chinese women's team recovered the Uber Cup in 1998 after four years without it, and defended it easily in 2000.
The Sydney Olympic Games marked the peak of Li's coaching career as he led the Chinese team to take four gold medals. China dropped to the third place at the 22nd Thomas Cup held in 2002, but it took the Uber Cup for the third consecutive time. In 2003, China lost the Sudirman Cup to South Korea, failing to fulfill its dream of winning the cup five consecutive times. China recovered the cup at the 9th Sudirman Cup held in Beijing in 2005. In 2008, the Chinese team won three gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the Beijing Olympic Games, the best record of the team.