KUALA LUMPUR: It was a pleasant surprise for national doubles shuttler Vivian Hoo when she found out that Malaysia have qualified on merit for the Uber Cup Finals in New Delhi from May 18-25.
In the list, released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) last week, Malaysia’s women’s team qualified by virtue of being the 12th-ranked team out of the 16 qualifiers for the Finals.
“At one point, we thought we would not make it as some of our players’ rankings had dropped,” said Vivian, who forms the nation’s No. 1 women’s doubles partnership with Woon Khe Wei.
“This is the first year that teams are qualifying based on overall ranking and thankfully, it has worked out well for us.”
Two years ago, Malaysia did not feature in the Finals in Wuhan when they did not make the cut via the qualifying tournament in Taiwan.
This year though, the BWF have scrapped the qualifying tournament and instead, the 16 teams have been chosen based on their March 5 world ranking.
According to BWF’s new format of qualification, the defending champions and hosts are exempted if they are ranked within the top 14, which then allows the next best team to qualify.