Monday, March 21, 2016
Text by Dev Sukumar
Thomas Cup defending champions Japan and top seeds China found themselves in the same group as the draw for the TOTAL BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2016 was completed today in Kunshan, China.
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. The Finals will be held in Kunshan from 15 to 22 May 2016.
Second seeds Denmark, in Group D, were drawn with Chinese Taipei, New Zealand and South Africa. Group B has Indonesia, India, Thailand and Hong Kong China, while Group C has Korea, Malaysia, England and Germany.
In the Uber Cup competition, hosts and defending champions China will have to contend with European power Denmark in Group A. Their group-mates are Spain and Malaysia.
Uber Cup 2014 runners-up Japan are drawn with India, Australia and Germany. Group B consists of Korea, Chinese Taipei, Mauritius and USA, while Group C has Thailand, Indonesia, Bulgaria and Hong Kong China.
The draw ceremony, held at Tonino Lamborghini Hotel in Kunshan this morning, was a glitzy affair which was attended by top officials of the Kunshan Municipal Government and Chinese Badminton Association, sponsors and other dignitaries. Jiang Hao, Deputy Mayor of Kunshan Municipal Government; Liu Tong, Deputy Director of Jiang Hao Provisional Sports Bureau; She Yi Chang of insurance company PICC; Yue Dong Xin of Xinhua News Agency; Sun Lie Ping of Kunshan Sports Bureau; Denny Chu of sponsors TOTAL China, and Li Zhujun of equipment major Li-Ning, were among those who helped pick the draw.
Sixteen teams each in the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup qualified for the final rounds based on their performance 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 final rounds will consist of group stage followed by knockout. The top two teams in each group will make it to the knockout stage. There will be another draw for the quarter-finals.
The draw was conducted by BWF Major Events Manager Venugopal Mahalingam with the assistance of BWF Referee Dennis Lee.
Jiang Hao, Deputy Mayor of Kunshan Municipal Government, welcomed the assembled guests and assured a warm reception to the teams at the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals.
Group A: China, Japan, France, Mexico
Group B: Indonesia, India, Thailand, Hong Kong China
Group C: Korea, Malaysia, England, Germany
Group D: Denmark, Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, South Africa
Group A: China, Denmark, Spain, Malaysia
Group B: Korea, Chinese Taipei, Mauritius, USA
Group C: Thailand, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong China
Group D: Japan, India, Australia, Germany
Featured image: Li Zhujun (2nd from left), Director of Indoor Sports Business Unit of Li-Ning, and Sun Lie Ping, Deputy Director of Kunshan Sports Bureau, helped pick the draw in the presence of BWF Referee Dennis Lee (centre).