India seeded third at CWG badminton

Glasgow: The Indian badminton squad for the mixed team event has been seeded third at the Commonwealth Games to be held here from July 23 to Aug 3. Badminton will feature on 11 days of the Games, starting July 24.

Indian shuttlers emerged a CWG power in the category thanks to Saina Nehwal (women’s singles), Parupalli Kashyap (men’s singles) and Ashwini Ponnappa/Jwala Gutta in women’s doubles, all of whom starred in the country’s silver medal finish at the 2010 edition in New Delhi. They are expected to feature in this year’s contests as well.

The mixed team event consists of a group stage followed by a knockout phase with each tie determined from best-of-five contests featuring matches in each of the five categories.

The 23 participating teams are divided into six groups: five groups consisting of four teams each and one with three teams. The six group winners and two runners-up with the best records in the groups will progress to the knockouts.

Powerhouse Malaysia will start their defence of the mixed team gold medal as top seeds. The south east Asian nation won the mixed team event in the last two editions and will be aiming for a hat-trick here.

Malaysia are seeded No.1 thanks to their top performers in the five individual categories -- Lee Chong Wei (men’s singles), Tee Jing Yi (women’s singles), Hoon Thien How/Tan Wee Kiong (men’s doubles), Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei (women’s doubles) and Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (mixed doubles).

England, multiple winners of the mixed team event, are seeded second, followed by India and Singapore, seeded fourth.

Others in the seeding list are 5/8 seeds Scotland, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, followed by Wales (9), South Africa (10), Mauritius (11), Northern Ireland (12), Sri Lanka (13), Uganda (14), Ghana (15), Jamaica (16), Barbados (17), Kenya (18) and Seychelles (19). Falkland Islands, Guernsey, Northfolk Islands and Jersey are also in the competition but Botswana has withdrawn.

CWG began in 1930 as the British Empire Games but badminton made its debut 36 years later in Jamaica in 1966. However, the mixed team event only started in 1978 and has been held at every edition since then except in 1998, when the men’s and women’s team events were held separately.

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