New Delhi: Indian badminton teams were on Wednesday handed comfortable draws in the rescheduled Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, slated to be held between October 9 and 17 at Aarhus, Denmark.
The Indian men’s team has been clubbed alongside defending champions China and minnows Netherlands and Tahiti in Group C, while the women’s side will be challenged by last edition runners-up Thailand, Spain and Scotland in Group B. The draw ceremony was held by the game’s governing body BWF at Kuala Lumpur.
The top two teams in each group at the end of the group stage will make it to the knock-out round. The Indian men’s and women’s teams had failed to reach the knockout stage in the last edition in 2018.
Hosts Denmark, who had claimed the Thomas Cup trophy in 2016, were put in a challenging Group B with Korea, France and Germany. Indonesia, who have won the Thomas Cup a record 13 times, are in Group A with Chinese Taipei, Algeria and Thailand, while last edition runners-up Japan are in Group D with Malaysia, Canada and England.
In Uber cup, defending champions Japan are in Group A with Indonesia, Germany and France, while Group C features Korea, Chinese Taipei, Tahiti and Egypt. China, who have won the tournament 14 times but failed to make the final in 2018 for the first time since they started participating in the 1980s, are in Group D with Denmark, Malaysia and Canada.
The event was originally scheduled to be held from May 16-24 last year but was postponed to August 15-23. Later it was further delayed to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following a wave of withdrawals by top teams, including Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Chinese Taipei, amid the health crisis, the prestigious tournament was postponed again last September.