Indian badminton men’s and women’s teams got an easy draw in the rescheduled Thomas and Uber Cup finals, which will be held from October 9 at Aarhus, Denmark.
The much-awaited draw ceremony for the Thomas and Uber Cup was held by the game’s governing body, the Badminton World Federation (BWF), in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. Hosts Denmark, who clinched the Thomas and Uber Cup title in 2016, were drawn in Group B with Korea, France and Germany.
The Indian men’s side is in Group C for the prestigious biennial team championships. Defending champions China and minnows Netherlands and Tahiti complete the four-team group for the Thomas Cup.
The women’s team has been clubbed in Group B along with last edition’s runners-up Thailand, Spain and Scotland.
The top two teams in each group will qualify for the knock-out stage. Both the Indian men’s and women’s teams failed to reach the knockouts in the last edition of the Thomas and Uber Cup held in Bangkok in 2018.
The Indian eves went down to eventual champions China in the semi-finals in the 2016 edition of the Uber Cup. They also made it to the semis in the 2014 edition of the tournament in New Delhi.
India are yet to declare their squads for Thomas and Uber Cup. The Badminton Association of India is likely to conduct selection trials next week before they finalize the full team.
Indonesia, who have won the Thomas Cup a record 13 times, are in Group A with Chinese Taipei, Algeria and Thailand. Meanwhile, one of the title favorites and last edition’s runners-up Japan are in Group D with Malaysia, Canada and England.
In the Uber Cup, defending champions Japan are in Group A with Indonesia, Germany and France. Formidable Korea is clubbed in Group C with Chinese Taipei, Tahiti and Egypt.
14-time champions China are in Group D with Denmark, Malaysia and Canada. Surprisingly, in the last edition in Thailand, China failed to enter the final for the first time since they started participating in the competition in the 1980s.
Thomas and Uber Cup postponed thrice due to COVID-19 pandemic
The biennial tournament was originally scheduled to be held from May 16 to 24 in 2020 but was postponed from August. Later it was further delayed to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following a wave of withdrawals from top teams, including Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Chinese Taipei, the major tournament was postponed again last September.
However, the BWF will ensure the tournament will go through smoothly this time around after the successful hosting of the Tokyo Olympics in which all major nations took part.