Badminton Life

Hong Kong Make the Uber Cup

After a long wait compared to some of the European nations who booked their place a good month ago, Hong Kong are the 12th and final nation to confirm their place at the Uber Cup in Jakarta in May.

The delay over the decision of the final place has been due to the rules and regulations surrounding the qualification process of the tournament and when the votes were cast by the Badminton World Federation, Hong Kong defeated Scotland by a score of 4-1 to play in the tournament. This may be a bit harsh on a Scots team who performed so spirited at the European stages of the Uber Cup but Hong Kong will be a worthy addition to the tournament.

With the original eleven teams being determined by the top three teams in the Asian and the European qualifiers, the holders, the host and the winners of the three sub zones of Oceania, Pan America and Africa there was one final place to be selected and the decision was between the teams who finished fourth in the European and Asian preliminaries.

The vote itself was explained and the decision making process certainly seemed valid as results between the two nations were compared and with Scotland having only one success against the Hong Kong team, in the Ladies Doubles, it was only fair that the Hong Kong team were the final addition to the Uber Cup.

The Uber Cup begins on the 11th May and as well as the current champions China and the host nation Indonesia, the line up for the tournament includes the European qualifiers Denmark, Holland and Germany with the Asian representatives being Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong. In addition to these teams, representatives of South Africa, New Zealand and the United States of America will round out the event.

At the same time as the Uber Cup, the Thomas Cup will be taking place and this will host the top 12 Men's teams in the world with again China and Indonesia representing as current holder and host nation respectively. Europe's nations for the Thomas Cup will be England, Denmark and Germany whilst Korea, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand will be playing for Asia. The remaining teams are Nigeria, Canada and New Zealand.

A total of 16 different countries will be making up the event with China, Indonesia, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and New Zealand all featuring in both the tournaments which undoubtedly indicate a lot about the state of badminton in these countries and this suggests a strong level of quality in the male and female game in these countries.

With the Olympic Games taking place in Beijing this summer a lot of focus will be on badminton and these events will allow some of the countries aiming for Olympic game to get in some good competition practice against quality opposition in an attempt to hone their game in the quest for Olympic medals.

The Uber and Thomas Cup are probably more prestigious events in the badminton calendar but there is definitely something about the Olympic Games that appeal to fans and players alike so there is likely to be some players entering the Uber and Thomas Cups with one eye on a bigger prize a few months further down the line.

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