ALOR SETAR – The Malaysian badminton squad heaved a sigh of relief as it avoided the group of death against the likes of China for the Badminton Asia Team Championship, easing its chances to qualify for the Thomas and Uber Cup finals.
The men’s squad was drawn into Group C with Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Myanmar for the championship which is set to take place at Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium here, from Feb 6-11.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) honorary secretary Datuk Ng Chin Chai said the result of the draw was very favourable for the national men’s and women’s squads.
“Our path is easy for the men’s squad, however, we have to be wary of Thailand, because they are the ‘dark horse’ that can spoil Malaysia’s hopes of topping Group C, and subsequently face tough opponents in the quarter-final,” he said after the draw held at a hotel here, today.
Chin Chai was confident of the women’s squad’s chances of getting into the quarter-final, after they were drawn into group Y with Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
In the men’s draw, China, as the tournament’s top seed was drawn into Group A with Hong Kong and Singapore, while Japan was placed in Group B with Korea, Nepal and Kazakhstan.
Indonesia was drawn into Group D with India, the Philippines and the Maldives.
In the women’s draw, Japan as the tournament’s top seed was drawn into Group W with India and Hong Kong, while second seeded China was placed in Group Z with Indonesia and Singapore.
South Korea was drawn into group X with Chinese Taipei and Maldives.
The top four teams will qualify for the Thomas and Uber Cup finals to be held in Bangkok, from May 20-27. As the host, Thailand has automatically qualified. – BERNAMA