Tricky route for M’sia in Thomas Cup?

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22: The national men’s badminton team have been handed a tricky task after being drawn in the same group as second seeds Denmark for the 2024 Thomas Cup Finals, which will be held in Chengdu, China from April 28-May 5.

The draw, held virtually in China, sees Malaysia being pitted with Denmark, Hong Kong (12th seeds) and Algeria in Group D.

Fifth-seeded Malaysia can expect a tricky route as Denmark and Hong Kong have singles shuttlers capable of rising to the occasion.

Top seeds China have been drawn in Group A with South Korea, Canada and Australia while Group B seems to be evenly balanced, with fourth seeds Japan having Taiwan, Germany and the Czech Republic for company.

Third seeds and 14-time champions Indonesia, have been drawn into Group C – the group of death – with defending champions India, Thailand and England.

As for the Uber Cup Finals, the 10th-seeded national women’s team have been handed a tough draw after being pitted with fourth seeds Thailand, sixth seeds Taiwan and Australia in Group B.

Top seeds China are in Group A with India, Canada and Singapore.

Group C comprises Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Uganda while Group D consists of defending champions South Korea, Denmark, the United States and Mexico.

The national men’s team, who last won the coveted Thomas Cup in 1992 on home ground, failed to end a three-decade title drought when they went down 2-3 to India in the quarter-finals of the previous edition in Bangkok, Thailand in 2022.

The national women’s squad, meanwhile, crashed out early after losing 4-1 to Thailand in their second Group C match of the Uber Cup at the 2022 edition. 

The Groupings

Thomas Cup

Group A: China, South Korea, Canada, Australia

Group B: Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Czech Republic

Group C: Indonesia, India, Thailand, England

Group D: Denmark, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Algeria

Uber Cup

Group A: China, India, Canada, Singapore

Group B: Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia

Group C: Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Uganda

Group D: South Korea, Denmark, United States, Mexico.