India were placed in a relatively easy group in the women’s section but the men’s team did not prove as lucky as their female peers at the draw for the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cup Finals badminton tournament that was held in Kunshan on Monday.
In the men’s section — the Thomas Cup — the Indian team have been drawn along with 13-times winner Indonesia and strong contenders Thailand and Hong Kong in Group B.
The Women’s team have been placed in Group D of the Uber Cup alongside Japan — the runners-up in the last edition in 2014 — and Australia and Germany. The tournament will be held in Kunshan from May 15-22.
Meanwhile, Thomas Cup defending champions Japan and top seeds China found themselves in the same group in the draw. The two powerhouses were drawn in Group A alongside France and Mexico, ensuring that the starting stage of the finals itself should be an intensely competitive affair.
Second seeds Denmark, in Group D, were drawn along with Chinese Taipei, New Zealand and South Africa while Group C has South Korea, Malaysia, England and Germany.
In the Uber Cup competition, hosts and defending champions China will have to contend with European powerhouse Denmark in Group A along with Spain and Malaysia.
Group B consists of Korea, Chinese Taipei, Mauritius and USA, while Group C has Thailand, Indonesia, Bulgaria and Hong Kong.
Sixteen teams each in the Thomas and Uber Cup qualified for the final rounds based on their performances in the continental team championships and team rankings. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeded teams were separated in the draw by placing them at the top of Group A and Group D respectively. The other teams and corresponding group positions were then picked by the invited dignitaries.
The top two teams in each group will make it to the knock-out stages. There will be another draw for the quarter-finals. It will be quite interesting to see who prevails as the winner in the most prestigious badminton tournaments.