Tuesday, April 19, 2016
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Thomas Cup winners Japan take on France when they begin their title defence on 15 May 2016, the opening day of the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals in Kunshan, China.
Japan, first-time winners in 2014 (featured image), found themselves in Group A along with powerhouses China, France and Mexico. Japan face France in the second session of the opening day, starting 1.30pm local time. Nine-time winners China will also start their campaign at the same time, against Mexico.
Sixteen men’s teams and an equal number of women’s teams have made it to the final rounds of the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals that will be held from 15 to 22 May 2016. The 16 teams were placed in groups of four based on team seeding and a draw of lots. The draw was conducted in Kunshan on 21 March.
Strong Thomas Cup contenders Korea will start the opening session – 8.30am local time – against Germany in Group C, while India and Thailand face off in their Group B opener at the same time.
Other Thomas Cup ties later in the day will see 13-time winners Indonesia face Hong Kong (Group B), and Malaysia take on England (Group C).
Uber Cup champions China, start their title defence in Group A against Malaysia at the same time that their male compatriots take the court, at 1.30pm local time on the opening day. Other Uber Cup ties on the day feature Denmark versus Spain (Group A); Thailand versus Hong Kong, Indonesia versus Bulgaria (Group C); Chinese Taipei versus Mauritius and Korea versus USA (Group B).
The teams will be ranked once their group assignments are completed within the first four days; the top two teams from each group will enter the quarter-finals. There will be a fresh draw for the quarter-finals. The four group winners will be seeded based on world rankings of their top three singles and top two doubles pairs as of 12 May 2016. The top two seeds will be placed on opposite ends of the draw and the ¾ seeds will be drawn by lots. The four second-placed teams from the group stage too will be placed after a draw by lots.
The quarter-final stage will be held on 19 May, followed by the semi-finals a day later.
The Uber Cup final is scheduled for 1pm local time on 21 May and the Thomas Cup final for the same time on 22 May. There will be no playoff ties for overall placings.
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 Africa
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