Men’s doubles top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo find themselves in a tricky group as the draws for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were conducted today at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes, England.
The ‘Minions’ are in Group A with Chinese Taipei’s Wang Chi-Lin/Lee Yang, England’s Ben Lane/Sean Vendy and India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty. Wang/Lee swept the Asian Leg in January, winning three titles in three weeks, while the other two pairs, Lane/Vendy and Rankireddy/Shetty, too have had some good results in recent times.
Gideon/Sukamuljo’s compatriots Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan too will be cautious about their group assignments, as they will have to contend with Malaysia’s Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, Korea’s Choi Solgyu/Seo Seungjae and Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue/Nyl Yakura.
- In men’s singles, Olympic bronze medallist Viktor Axelsen, former All England champion Shi Yu Qi and Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan Christie will be in the same quarter of the knockout draw should they top their groups according to seeding.
- Reigning Olympic champion Chen Long, whose group-mates are Spain’s Pablo Abian and Estonia’s Raul Must, is seeded to face All England champion Lee Zii Jia in the first knockout round.
- Egypt’s Doha Hany, the only player who is competing in three categories, is drawn with top seed Chen Yu Fei and Turkey’s Neslihan Yigit in women’s singles Group A.
- In women’s singles, Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying will have to fend off group challengers Thuy Linh Nguyen (Vietnam), Qi Xuefei (France) and Sabrina Jaquet (Switzerland), with the group winner set to have a bye in the first round of the knockout draw. Tai is in the same quarter as fifth seed Ratchanok Intanon and 14th seed Gregoria Mariska Tunjung.
- In women’s doubles, Asian Games champions Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan will take on recent TOYOTA Thailand Open winners Kim Soyeong/Kong Heeyong, Thailand’s Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai and Bulgaria’s Stefani Stoeva/Gabriela Stoeva in Group D.
- In mixed doubles Group D, second seeds Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping are alongside Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss/Isabel Herttrich, Hong Kong China’s Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet and Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying in what might be the most competitive group of the category.