The draw for the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023 was completed in the host city Suzhou on Saturday 25 March, with Group C appearing the trickiest of the four groups.
Evenly-matched Malaysia, Chinese Taipei and India, besides Australia, make this a hard group to predict. Malaysia won the Commonwealth Games gold last year beating India 3-1 in the final, but India bounced back at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships 2023 with a 4-1 result over Malaysia in a group tie.
Chinese Taipei, given their strength in all departments, will fancy their chances of making the knockout round and beyond, while Oceania champions Australia will look to cause an upset or two in the group.
The other hard-to-predict group is Group D, which has powerhouses Japan and Korea with France and England. While Korea have the second-best record in the Sudirman Cup with four titles, Japan were runners-up in three of the last four editions.
However, both teams will be wary of rising European power France, who are particularly strong in men’s singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Hosts and defending champions China, the most successful team in Sudirman Cup history with 12 titles, are in Group A with European champions Denmark, Singapore and African champions Egypt. Indonesia, the only team apart from China and Korea to win the title – they won the inaugural event in 1989 – head Group B, which includes Thailand, Germany and Pan Am champions Canada.
The top two teams in every group progress to the quarterfinals.
“I think we are still very competitive and confident in each individual event to beat any opponent,” said Zheng. “All we have to do is unleash ourselves in the Sudirman Cup and try to get our precious point for the team. We certainly hope very much to win this valuable title in China.”
His partner Huang added: “Our feelings are the same as the fans. This is the first major tournament to be held in China after the pandemic, and we are hoping that we can play a great game.”