India will have an unenviable task of taming three-time champions South Korea and Malaysia as they have been handed a tricky draw in Group 1D of the Vivo BWF Sudirman Cup Badminton to be held from May 10 to 17. A biennial event, Sudirman Cup will have five matches in every round - men and women’s singles, men and women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
India will solely will depend on the singles stars such as World No. 4 Kidambi Srikanth, 12th ranked Parupalli Kashyap, World No. 2 Saina Nehwal and No. 9 P V Sindhu, besides 2011 World Championship bronze medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa to reach the knock out stage.
In the draw ceremony held here today, defending champions China found themselves in a relatively easy group as they are in Group 1A with Germany and Thailand and would expect to advance in the tournament.
The top 12 teams in Group 1 have been split into four sub-groups. Japan, winners of the Thomas Cup and runners-up in the Uber Cup, are in Group 1B with Chinese Taipei and USA,
while Group 1C might well be the ‘group of death’ as it has three strong teams in Denmark, former champions Indonesia and England. Teams in Group 1 will play two stages: group play-off followed by knockout. The top two teams from each sub-group will qualify for the knock-out.
China have been the most dominant nation in the Sudirman Cup, having won nine titles in 13 editions. Indonesia (once) and Korea (thrice) are the only other nations to have lifted the trophy.
The Sudirman Cup for the World Mixed Team Championships features 35 teams divided into four groups. Of these, the top 12 ranked teams in Group 1 will vie for the trophy, while the other teams (Group 2, Group 3, Group 4) will fight for ranking spots.