Malaysia to meet Thailand in Thomas Cup finals

Utusan Online

KUALA LUMPUR March 12 - Former champions and third seeds Malaysia receive a relatively easy draw when they are grouped together with Thailand and South Africa in the Thomas Cup Badminton Finals in Jakarta from May 7 to 16.

However, for the Uber Cup Finals to be held also at Gelora Bung Karno Senayan Stadium, Malaysia face a daunting task as they are pitted against the fourth seeds Japan and Denmark in Group Y.

Thailand, Malaysia's challengers in Group C, will have to struggle to book their place in the Finals after finishing fifth in the Asian qualifier here last month.

The Thomas-Uber Cup Finals in the Indonesian capital will see for the first time 12 teams competing compared to just eight teams for the past 10 meets.

Under the new format, the group champions will make it straight into the quarterfinals while the remaining eight teams play-off to produce the other four quarterfinalists.

The draw, conducted by IBF vice-presidents Charoen Wattanasin and Datuk Punch Gunalan, was held in a packed room at the TransTV office in Jakarta and was broadcast live on Indonesian TV.

The hosts Indonesia got a tough break when they were drawn to meet China in the initial group phases of both the Thomas and Uber Cups.

In the Thomas Cup, top seeds China will also face Panamerican contenders the United States in Group A, while second seeds Denmark are up against Japan and England in Group D.

Group B sees South Korea, the fourth seeds, pitted against European zone runners-up Germany and Oceanian representative New Zealand.

Thomas Cup

Group A: China, Indonesia, United States

Group B: South Korea, Germany, New Zealand

Group C:Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa

Group D: Denmark, Japan, England

Uber Cup

Group W: China, Netherlands, Indonesia

Group X: Taiwan, Germany, South Africa

Group Y: Japan, Denmark, Malaysia

Group Z: South Korea, Australia, Canada