Malaysia, runners-up in the last edition, were handed a rather favourable draw in this year's Thomas Cup Finals to be held in Kunshan, China from May 15-22 – with South Korea, England and Germany for company in Group C.
Defending champions Japan, who beat Malaysia 3-2 in the final in New Delhi in 2014, were drawn with top seeds China, France and Mexico. However, the Japanese, who are seeded only No 5 in Kunshan, should make the elimination round with the all-powerful China at the expense of minnows France and Mexico.
Malaysia, seeded 5/8, should advance from their group for the eight-team elimination round with the Koreans. The top two teams in each group advance to the knockout round.
Indonesia, India, Thailand and Hong Kong were drawn in Group B while Denmark, who are seeded No 2, have Taiwan, New Zealand and South Africa for company in Group D.
Malaysia, who failed to make the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup Finals on merit in the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Hyederabad in January, made the Finals through seedings issued by the Badminton World Federation as one of the 16 teams to Kunshan.
Malaysia are ranked sixth in the men's and 10th in the women's – which gives them the berth in the Finals.
Defending champions Japan, who beat Malaysia 3-2 in a major upset in the last Thomas Cup Final in New Delhi, India, are seeded fifth while China are the top seeds. Denmark are seeded second with South Korea third and Asian champions Indonesia are seeded fourth.
However it is a tough draw for the women in the Uber Cup Finals. Malaysia are in Group A with hosts and defending champions China, who are also the Asian champions.
Other teams in Group A are European champions Denmark and Spain powered by reigning world champion and top ranked woman shuttler Carolina Marin.
South Korea, Taiwan, Maurtius and Pan American champions USA are in Group B while Thailand, Indonesia, Bulgaria and Hong Kong were drawn in Group C. Second seeds Japan, India, Australia and Germany make up Group D.
The draw for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup Finals was held in Kunshan on Monday March 21.