Beijing – The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has rolled out a strategic new format for the Thomas and Uber Cups (men’s & women’s world team championships) which expands the competition from 12 to 16 teams.
The 16 teams will qualify based on a World Ranking determination process instead of the continental qualification championships, reports Xinhua.
“There is a two-fold strategy. First, we believe that the sport is now ready to be taken to a new level of global exposure where we want to take the highest quality competition of the sport to the biggest possible worldwide television audience,” said BWF secretary general Thomas Lund.
TV broadcast interest in the event reached a new high at the recently concluded 2012 Thomas & Uber Cups in Wuhan enabling fans worldwide to have increased access to the biennial event.
“It has always been our strategic goal to continually increase the accessibility to the sport for our worldwide fans and audience,” said Lund. “The expansion to showcase 16 high-quality teams will make the event potentially attractive to an increased number of television markets and viewers.”
The 16 teams will be divided into four groups of four teams each, featuring the Cup holders, hosts and the required number of highest placed teams on the World Rankings upon consideration of the new continental confederation distribution and quota regulations.
A minimum three teams from Europe and three teams from Asia will automatically qualify to compete for both Cups based on their World Rankings, while, the highest-placed team in the Thomas and Uber Cups from America, Oceania and Africa will be given a guaranteed ticket to the event. If the hosts are also the Cup holders an additional place will be filled from the World Rankings.Published 11 Jun 2012, 18:56 IST