Indian men have got an easy draw in Thomas Cup but the women shuttlers will have to contend with powerhouse Japan in the Uber Cup as the draw for the BWF tournament finals 2016 was completed today in Kunshan, China.
Thomas Cup defending champions Japan and top seeds China found themselves in the same group.
The two heavyweights were drawn in Group A alongside France and Mexico, ensuring that the starting stage of the finals itself should be an intensely competitive affair. The finals will be held in Kunshan from May 15 to 22.
Second seeds Denmark, in Group D, were drawn with Chinese Taipei, New Zealand and South Africa. Group B has Indonesia, India, Thailand and Hong Kong China, while Group C has Korea, Malaysia, England and Germany.
In the Uber Cup competition, hosts and defending champions China will have to contend with European power Denmark in Group A. Their group-mates are Spain and Malaysia.
Uber Cup 2014 runners-up Japan are drawn with India, Australia and Germany. Group B consists of Korea, Chinese Taipei, Mauritius and USA, while Group C has Thailand, Indonesia, Bulgaria and Hong Kong China.
The draw ceremony, held at Tonino Lamborghini Hotel this morning, was a glitzy affair which was attended by top officials of the Kunshan Municipal Government and Chinese Badminton Association, sponsors and other dignitaries.
Sixteen teams each in the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup qualified for the final rounds based on their performance in the continental team championships and team rankings. The No.1 and No.2 seeded teams were separated in the draw by placing them at the top of Group A and Group D respectively. The other teams and corresponding group positions were then picked by the invited dignitaries.
The final rounds will consist of group stage followed by knockout. The top two teams in each group will make it to the knockout stage. There will be another draw for the quarter-finals.
The draw was conducted by BWF Major Events Manager Venugopal Mahalingam with the assistance of BWF Referee Dennis Lee.
Group A: China, Japan, France, Mexico
Group B: Indonesia, India, Thailand, Hong Kong China
Group C: Korea, Malaysia, England, Germany
Group D: Denmark, Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, South
Group A: China, Denmark, Spain, Malaysia
Group B: Korea, Chinese Taipei, Mauritius, USA
Group C: Thailand, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong China
Group D: Japan, India, Australia, Germany. PTI AH