The 2019 Sudirman Cup will begin on Sunday, as the world’s best badminton players battle it out for international glory. The 16th edition of the competition will run from May 19 to May 26 in Nanning, China, as champions South Korea aim to retain their title.
Here’s the complete group draw and the full schedule:
- Chinese Taipei
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Sri Lanka
China is out for revenge
With the tournament on home soil for the fifth time, China will be out for revenge after losing to South Korea in the 2017 final. The defeat ended their bid to win the Sudirman Cup for the seventh tournament running; the last time they had failed to win the trophy came in 2003, when South Korea also came out on top against them in the final.
Despite their record, they are seeded second for the tournament behind Japan. Japan have never won the tournament, but a number of their players have been excellent in 2019. Kento Momota won the men’s singles events at the German Open, All England Open and Singapore Open, while Koki Watanabe did the same at the Orleans Masters. Akane Yamaguchi and Saena Kawakami won the women’s singles in Germany and Orleans, respectively, while across the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles, Japan have had six tournament victories overall.
The Japanese have only beaten Group 1A opponents Thailand once in five meetings at the Sudirman Cup, and they’ve been evenly matched with Russia in four matches. If they’re to live up to their seeding and challenge the likes of China and South Korea in the knockout phase, they will need to perform better than they have historically against their opponents.
Tough seeding for India
India has been drawn alongside 10-time champions China and Malaysia in the Sudirman Cup mixed team badminton championship to be held in Nanning, China from May 19 to 26. India had reached the quarterfinals in the 2011 and 2017 editions, losing to China both times, and it will once again have a tough task in hand to qualify from Group 1D.
Top seeds Japan, searching their first Sudirman Cup title, are in Group 1A with Thailand and Russia.
Indonesia, winners of the first tournament in 1989, will be wary of Denmark and England in Group 1B, while defending champions Korea will also expect a challenge from Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong in Group 1C. The top two teams from each sub-group in Group 1 will progress to the quarterfinals and compete for the title. The other 19 teams from Groups 2, 3 and 4 will compete for overall placings. The draw for the 31 participating teams, which are divided into four groups based on team rankings, was conducted in Nanning. Sudirman Cup is a mixed team badminton championship with each tie featuring all the five formats.