Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian men’s and women’s badminton squad have gotten an easy draw to qualify for the Thomas and Uber Cup finals as they were able to avoid heavyweights such as China or Japan in the Badminton Asia Team Championship which is set to take place at Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium, Alor Setar, Malaysia, from Feb 6 to Feb 11.
The Malaysia men’s team was drawn into Group C together with Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Myanmar.
Despite the relatively easy draw, Malaysia’s men’s singles chief coach Misbun Sidek has warned his players not to underestimate other opponents.
“I hope we can become group champions to avoid China, Indonesia or Japan in the last eight,” said Sidek.
“We must learn from our previous mistakes that we need to take every opponents seriously,” added Sidek.
“Thailand have already qualified as the hosts of the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals. But, we still need to play well to beat them.”
Meanwhile, the tournament’s top seed China was drawn in Group A alongside Hong Kong and Singapore, and Group B has Japan, Korea, Nepal and Kazakhstan.
Indonesia faces intensely competitive affair with India in Group D which also include Philippines and the Maldives.
In the women’s team competition, Malaysia will have to contend with Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines for the quarter-final spot.
Group A – China, Hong Kong, Singapore
Group B – Japan, South Korea, Nepal, Kazakhstan
Group C – Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar
Group D – Indonesia, India, Philippines, Maldives
Group W – Japan, India, Hong Kong
Group X – South Korea, Taiwan, Maldives
Group Y – Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines
Group Z – China, Indonesia, Singapore