General

(Photo: BWF / Badmintonphoto)
Group A: Big teams ready to unleash the power
Date: 5/8/2023 4:04 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
With six days to go until the Sudirman Cup, we’ll be looking at the four different groups in the knockout stage. For this first article we’ll be starting with Group A — one to watch out for, containing some strong candidates.

The Sudirman Cup is a team competition in which the best international mixed teams battle it out to be crowned as the best in the world. This year’s edition will be taking place in Suzhou, China, from 14 until 21 May.

In the opening day at 05.00pm Suzhou local time, Denmark will be facing Singapore while China will meet Egypt at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre.

In the 18 editions that have taken place, Denmark has amassed 11 medals — their last being a bronze in 2013 —, being the top European nation of the Sudirman Cup. The Danes will be travelling to Suzhou with a powerful team of highly-ranked players, ready to take on Singapore in what will certainly be an interesting clash — with great expectation for the potential match between Axelsen and Loh.

If there is a team to beat in Group A, that is China. Playing on home soil, the big favourites are eyeing their 13th title with an mightly impressive line-up. 

This will not be the first Sudirman Cup for silver Olympic medallists and three-time world champions Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong. When asked to describe the grand mixed teams international competition, Huang thought about the feelings on court for such event: “I guess the word will be nervousness because the pressure of the team match is bigger and the feeling of wanting to get a point for the team is more urgent. Everyone will be a little nervous,” said the Chinese player to BWF.

“I think the biggest attraction of the team competition is that tension and atmosphere is much greater than you can imagine, sometimes even more than in the Olympics because you have to represent the whole team, your point is extremely crucial for the team,” added Zheng.

Every point and every win counts, and with a whole team to support you there also comes a certain pressure to keep up and get decisive team points for your team and nation. Huang reflected on this and declared to BWF: “We always play with a very strict attitude in team matches because we are playing for the collective honour of the country and the team, so we usually play a little better than in the World Tour. We could take some pressure off our teammates and give them more confidence to prepare for their matches.”

“All we have to do is to unleash ourselves at the Sudirman Cup and try to get our precious point for the team,” agreed Zheng. “We certainly hope very much to win this valuable title in China. It’s very exciting and thrilling because we haven’t played in China for a long time and it means a lot of different things to us.”

After the tumultuous period of cancellations and postponements brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be a great tournament to celebrate in China. Suzhou was the original host for the 2021 edition and will be the first big tournament on Chinese soil after the pandemic. “Our feelings are the same as the fans. This is the first major tournament held in China after the epidemic and we are hoping that we can have a good performance,” said Huang.


Find below the full squads for the teams in Group A:

China
Male players: Yan Zhe Feng, Shi Feng Li, Wei Keng Liang, Yu Chen Liu, Guang Zu Lu, Xuan Yi Ou, Yu Qi Shi, Chang Wang, Si Wei Zheng

Female players: Qing Chen Chen, Yu Fei Chen, Bing Jiao He, Dong Ping Huang, Ya Qiong Huang, Yi Fan Jia, Sheng Shu Liu, Ning Tan, Zhi Yi Wang, Shu Xian Zhang, Yu Zheng

Denmark
Male players:
Anders Antonsen, Kim Astrup, Viktor Axelsen, Mathias Christiansen, Rasmus Gemke, Anders Skaarup, Frederik Søgaard, Mathias Thyrri, Jeppe Bay (reserve), Lasse Mølhede (reserve)

Female players:
Mia Blichfeldt, Alexandra Bøje, Line Christophersen, Maiken Fruergaard, Amalie Magelund, Sara Thygesen, Line Kjærsfeldt (reserve)

Singapore
Male players: Yong Kai Terry Hee, Jun Liang Andy Kwek, Kean Hean Loh, Kean Yew Loh, Jia Heng Jason Teh

Female players: Hui Zhen Grace Chua, Yu Jia Jin, Wei Han Jessica Tan, Jia Ying Crystal Wong, Jia Min Yeo

Egypt
Male players: Adham Hatem Elgamal, Kareem Mahmoud Ezzat, Mahmoud Montaser Montaser, Ahmed Salah

Female players: Nour Ahmed Youssri, Rahma Mohamed Saad Eladawy, Doha Hany, Hana Tarek Zaher
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