Indian men, women shuttlers face contrasting draws at Thomas, Uber Cup

Kunshan (China), March 21 (IANS) India were placed in a relatively easy group in the women’s section but the men’s team did not prove to be as lucky at the draw for the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cup Finals badminton tournament that was held here on Monday.

In the men’s section — the Thomas Cup — the Indian team have been drawn along with 13-times winners Indonesia and strong contenders Thailand and Hong Kong China 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 — Australia and Germany.

The tournament will be held here in Kunshan from May 15-22.

Meanwhile, Thomas Cup defending champions Japan and top seeds China found themselves in the same group as 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 power Denmark in Group A. Their group-mates are Spain and Malaysia.

Group B consists of Korea, Chinese Taipei, Mauritius and USA, while Group C has Thailand, Indonesia, Bulgaria and Hong Kong China.

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 top two teams in each group will make it to the knockout stages. There will be another draw for the quarter-finals.

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