14 May 2007

Sudirman Cup draw announced

DEFENDING champions and top seeds China were today drawn against fourth seeds Malaysia, seventh seeds England and sixth seeds Thailand in Group 1 A of the World Mixed Team Badminton Championships to be held at Scotstoun International Sports Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, from June 11-17.

Second seeds and European champions Denmark are in Group 1B and they will face the two former champions in Korea and Indonesia plus Hong Kong in the round-robin group stages. Korea are third seeds, Indonesia fifth and Hong Kong eighth.

The winners of Group 1A will face the runners-up in Group 1B and the winners of Group 1B will face the runners-up in Group 1A in the semi-finals in separate sessions on Saturday, June 16.

Indonesia, the original winners of the Sudirman Cup in 1989, were runners-up to China in Beijing two years ago. Denmark took the bronze medal with three-times winners Korea fourth. England were fifth and Hong Kong sixth with Thailand seventh. Sweden, who were eighth, were relegated from the elite group while Malaysia were promoted from the second tier and are now up to No 4 in the seeding for this premier world mixed team event.

Only the eight nations in the elite group can challenge for the Sudirman Cup and China (5 times), Korea (3) and Indonesia (1) are the only winners at the nine previous World Mixed Team Championships dating back to the inaugural event in Jakarta in 1989.

Hosts Scotland, who finished 21st of 41 nations in Beijing, are in Group 3A where they will face tough matches again seeds France as well as Canada and New Zealand. At the end of the week their play-off opponents will come from Group 3B containing Australia, India, USA and Bulgaria.

Wales (24th last time), are in Group 5B and face favourites Ukraine, Belgium and South Africa. Ireland are in Group 4A against group seeds Czech Republic, Italy and Estonia.

The match schedule will be released tomorrow (Fri, May 11) on the tournament web site

A total of 49 nations covering all five continents have entered this year’s competition – eight more than in Beijing – and the seven divisions are completed by a fascinating Group 7 clash between Iceland, Mongolia, Latvia and Luxembourg in a tournament where nations enjoy the drama and excitement of group matches and a play-off, be it promotion, relegation or simply for final ranking.

The draw, conducted by tournament referee Keith Hawthorne (England), took place at Scotland’s National Badminton Academy in Scotstoun in the presence of John Beattie, television and radio presenter, and BADMINTONscotland chief executive Anne Smillie, who is a Badminton World Federation council member and leading figure on its events committee and the head of the Sudirman Cup organising committee.

Smillie said: “There are so many good players in the teams in the top division that the fans are assured real top-quality badminton. With players like Lin Dan (China’s world champion) and Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia’s Olympic champion) on court we hope to repeat the memorable matches of 1997.

“I can’t believe there are just 32 days to go before Scotland host this great tournament for the second time. The entry of 59 in 1997 is still a record and it is something we Scots can be proud of.

“Today’s draw is the second big event to happen to Scotland in two days, following on from the submission of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games 2014 bid yesterday.

“As badminton is a key sport in the Commonwealth Games, it means the Sudirman Cup will come under the microscope straight away but I am confident BADMINTONscotland can make this a tournament to remember. We are used to staging big events even if we can’t quite manage to win them!”

In the final in Beijing two years ago China beat Indonesia 3-0 to regain the Cup they had lost to Korea in Eindhoven in 2003 – the first time the Sudirman Cup had been staged as a stand-alone event.

2005 FINAL - China 3 Indonesia 0

Mixed doubles: Zhang Jun & Gao Ling bt Nova Widianto & Lilyana Natsir 12-15 15-5 15-8; Men’s singles: Lin Dan bt Taufik Hidayat 17-15 15-9; Women’s singles: Zhang Ning bt Francisca Ratnasari Haris 11-1 11-7

The full draw is shown below. For further information contact BADMINTONscotland on 0141 445 1218.

1 1* China 1 2* Denmark
2 Malaysia 2 Korea
3 England 3 Indonesia
4 Thailand 4 Hong Kong

1 1* Singapore 1 2* Japan
2 Germany 2 Poland
3 Chinese Taipei 3 Russia
4 Sweden 4 Netherlands

1 1* France 1 2*Australia
2 Scotland 2 India
3 Canada 3 USA
4 New Zealand 4 Bulgaria

1 1* Czech Republic 1 2* Finland
2 Italy 2 Spain
3 Ireland 3 Switzerland
4 Estonia 4 Portugal

1 1* Slovenia 1 2* Ukraine
2 Peru 2 Belgium
3 Slovakia 3 Wales
4 Lithuania 4 South Africa

1 1* Cyprus 1 1* Iceland
2 2* Sri Lanka 2 2* Mongolia
3 Turkey 3 Latvia
4 Belarus 4 Luxembourg
5 Norway

1 comment:

bulutangkis said...

wah sudirman sebentar lagi ya, udah lama nih, terakhir kalau gak salah tahun 2005 taufik juara ya