TUC 2008 – Tough Group for Malaysia

After the draw, which was made last night in Jakarta in the presence of BWF’s newly appointed Secretary General Stuart Broddie amongst other top officials from Indonesia, all teams now […]

ImageAfter the draw, which was made last night in Jakarta in the presence of BWF’s newly appointed Secretary General Stuart Broddie amongst other top officials from Indonesia, all teams now know who their group opponents are.

Raphael Sachetat. Photo : Badmintonphoto

In the Thomas Cup, all eyes will be on Group B, with Malaysia (photo), South Korea and England, for one of the toughest groups of the draw. The Malaysians, hoping for a podium finish – if not a gold medal after the impressive results from their leader Lee Chong Wei – will now have to focus on topping this group in order to make it directly to the quarter-final stage and avoid one of the other big guns early on in the competition.

This tie should see some inspiring matches such as a rematch of Malaysia Open final between the two Lees (Hyun Il of Korea and Chong Wei) and the two best doubles on each side, which have shown in the past their talent. It will be a close tie with the third team as well. England, while looking a bit weaker on paper, stunned Malaysia in the Sudirman Cup last year. The winner of this group will most likely have to play a tie with either Japan or Germany (according to logic), before meeting China in the semi-final. Meanwhile, the runner-up for this group of death should end up facing an easier tie against Nigeria, before a quarter-final clash with hosts Indonesia.

Denmark, top seeds of group C, seem to have the best draw, but will depend on a fast recovery from their top shuttler Peter Gade. Having Gade (whose ranking slipped below that of compatriot Kenneth Jonassen in late January) as a second shuttler, however, maybe a blessing for the Scandinavians, who are still hoping to achieve a first European success in this competition. Should they top their group (with in-form Japan and New Zealand), they will then face either Canada or England (once again if logic prevails) before entering the semi-finals directly, to play Indonesia …or Malaysia…or Korea…

ImageIn the Uber Cup, in spite of their recent lack of results, the Chinese women are still very much favourites for the title and take the top seeding, with Germany and the USA as group-mates.

The big clash in Group B will see Hong Kong – still unsure of the eligibility of Zhou Mi (photo) to play – against Korea, while the toughest group will probably be group D, with Japan, the Netherlands (who played the best tie of the fortnight in Tokyo in 2006) and hosts Indonesia.

Badzine will be covering the event live from Jakarta

Groups:
Thomas Cup:
Group A: China, Canada, Nigeria
Group B: Malaysia, South Korea, England
Group C: Denmark, Japan, New Zealand
Group D: Indonesia, Germany, Thailand

Uber Cup:
Group A: China, Germany, USA
Group B: South Korea, Hong Kong, South Africa
Group C: Malaysia, Denmark, New Zealand
Group D: Japan, Indonesia, Netherlands

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.