What's the story?
The draws for the 2020 Badminton Asia Team Championships are out. The Indian Men's team is placed alongside Indonesia and Philippines in Group A while the Indian Women's team will be locking horns with South Korea and Kazakhstan in Group X.
Badminton Asia Championships is a biennial event and acts as the Asian qualifiers for the prestigious Thomas (Men's) and Uber (Women's) Cups. The 2020 edition is scheduled between 11 to 16 February and will take place at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila, Philippines.
The participating teams will also have a chance to accumulate some points for Tokyo Olympics 2020 during the event that is sanctioned by Badminton Asia.
In the previous edition in 2018, the Indian Men's team was placed in Group D alongside Indonesia, Philippines, and the Maldives. They managed to progress to the quarterfinals of the tournament but bowed out after a loss to eventual runners-up China.
Meanwhile, the Women's team was placed in Group W alongside Japan and Hong Kong in the 2018 Badminton Asia Team Championships. They also made it to the quarters but bowed out after a 1-3 loss to Indonesia.
A total of over 290 shuttlers from all across the continent are expected to take part in the 2020 Badminton Asia Team Championships. There are three singles and two doubles matches in the Team format and the country to win three of these clashes wins the tie.
The heart of the matter
India's top shuttlers will have a great chance to accumulate some qualification points at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The draw for the fifth-seeded Indian Men's team for 2020 is nearly identical to the one in 2018 as India will be taking on Indonesia and the Philippines in the group stage.
The Indian Women's team is seeded seventh in the tournament and has its opponents in the form of South Korea and Kazakhstan for the group stage.
Players in the Indian Women's team include - Ashwini Bhat, Malvika Bansod, Ashmita Chaliha, Shikha Gautam, Aakarshi Kashyap, K Maneesha, Rutaparna Panda, and Gayatri Gopichand.
The Indian Men's team will be kickstarting their campaign by taking on the Philippines while the Women's team will lock horns with Kazakhstan in their opening tie. Both the encounters will take place on 11th February.