Badminton Life

Thomas and Uber Cups to Stay Together

In their efforts to give the Thomas and Uber Cups their own identity and boost popularity, global governing body Badminton World Federation (BWF) was considering splitting them into two separate tournaments.

However, these plans have been scrapped after the BWF received objections from member nations, who want the two events to stay together.

This year's events were held simultaneously, as is tradition, in Jakarta, Indonesia, with China taking both titles.

At its annual meeting in 2007, BWF opted to stage the men's and women's team championships in different countries in 2010 so that each would attract sponsorship and advertising, thereby potentially doubling the revenue.

However, member nations were not keen about the idea and the concept has now been abandoned. The 2010 Thomas and Uber Cups is likely to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia because no other city has bid for it.

BWF secretary general Stuart Borrie told the Malaysian media that the BWF agreed to members' requests to keep the two tournaments in one venue and at the same time.

"The plan was to stage the finals of Thomas Cup and Uber Cups separately," said Borrie.

"But at our Council meeting during the Beijing Olympics, some members voiced fears that the focus would not be so much on the Uber Cup if we continued with the plan.

"It was finally agreed that the two finals be staged together."

If the two had separated, South Korea and China expressed interest in hosting the women's Uber Cup.

However, now the BWF will ask Malaysia to modify its bid to include the Uber Cup in its plans.

"Initially, Malaysia were the only bidders for the Thomas Cup finals," said Borrie. "We have asked them to include the Uber Cup finals as well and come back to us with an amended bid paper."

The Thomas and Uber Cups are among the most famous team events in any sport. Countries put as much preparation into these events as they do for the Olympics, world championships and All England Championships.

China have been the dominant country over the past few years, especially their women, who have been virtually untouchable in the tournament in recent times.

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