Badminton’s finest nations meet in Kuala Lumpur to battle for the Thomas and Uber Cup over the next 8 days. China are the clear favourite for both competitions but the host nation will want to be competing on the final day next Sunday.
Group A has the favourites China and another one of the up and coming nations Korea in their group also. South American qualifiers Peru make up the group and they begin Group A with a match against China on Sunday lunchtime with Lin Dan expected to play the opening singles match for China.
Group B has the host Malaysia in with another Asian superpower, Japan and another potential Tago – Lee Chong Wei match is expected on Tuesday evening when the two nations player. Nigeria make up Group B and start the matches in the group against host Malaysia on Sunday evening.
Group C has been drawn as the all European group with Denmark, Germany and Poland repeating the European Team Championships for two to book their places in the last 8 of the Thomas Cup. Denmark and Poland start the competition of Group C on Sunday evening. Peter Gade is expected to start against Poland with an opening singles against Przemyslaw Wacha. Group D has Indonesia, India and Australia in it with the Indonesian’s starting their campaign against Australia on Sunday afternoon.
Group A has the host nation Malaysia in it as well as favourites China, with the USA making up the opening group. China play the USA in the opening match, with the expected top two nations China and Malaysia playing on Tuesday night that should be a match to determine top spot but the question is who will play China’s singles matches with a choice of Wang Yihan, Wang Shixian, Wang Xin and Yanjiao Jiang. World Champion Lu Lan did not even make the team.
Group B has the European champions Denmark, as well as Indonesia and Australia who met in both competitions this year and both the male and the female matches are taking place at the same time on Sunday afternoon. Germany, Russia and Japan make up Group C in perhaps the highest quality of any of the opening groups in any of the two competitions. Japan takes on Germany on Sunday afternoon to opening proceedings in Group A. Korea are the favourites in Group D with India and South Africa probably fighting it out for second place in the group. The South African’s have the first opportunity to attempt to shock the Koreans in the opening match on Sunday afternoon.