Badminton: Chinese head coach Li Yongbo replaced by Xia Xuanze and Zhang Jun

BEIJING (Xinhua) - Chinese badminton head coach Li Yongbo will step down from his position after 24 years while former world champion Xia Xuanze and two-time Olympic gold medallist Zhang Jun will take charge of singles and doubles respectively, the Table Tennis and Badminton Management Centre of the General Administration of Sports of China officially announced on Thursday.

Li was reassigned along with other coaching staff to an advisory panel with the Chinese Olympic Committee earlier this month, which will serve as the think tank for China's Olympic preparation in the areas of management, training, scientific research and healthcare.

The Chinese national badminton team will reshuffles its coaching crew before the 2017 Sudirman Cup in Australia, the head coach and deputy head coach posts will no longer exist, while Xia Xuanze and Zhang Jun will start to coach singles and doubles respectively.

Former deputy head coach Tian Bingyi and Zhong Bo are to become consultants.

Xia, 39, men's singles bronze medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and former men's singles coach for the Chinese team, becomes the coach in both men and women's singles, while Zhang Jun, 40, mixed doubles' gold medallist at both 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympic Games and former men's doubles coach in the Chinese team, will be in charge of all doubles categories.