Commonwealth Games 2014: Hat-Trick on Malaysia’s Mind

Commonwealth Games 2014: Hat-Trick on Malaysia’s Mind

Badminton powerhouse Malaysia will start their defence of the Commonwealth Games mixed team gold medal as top seeds.

Malaysia won the mixed team event in the last two editions and will be aiming for a hat-trick at this year’s Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 23 July to 3 August. Badminton will feature on all 11 days of the Games programme, starting from 24 July.

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 knockout round.

Malaysia are seeded No.1 thanks to a total of 264420 points from their top performers in the five individual categories: Lee Chong Wei (Men’s Singles) with 98681 points; Tee Jing Yi (Women’s Singles) with 30694; Hoon Thien How/Tan Wee Kiong (Men’s Doubles; above) with 58970; Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei (Women’s Doubles) with 38805 and Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (Mixed Doubles) with 37270.

England, multiple winners of the mixed team event, are seeded second with 207449 points, followed by 3/4 seeds India with 196710 points and Singapore with 190435 points.

England owes its second seeding mainly to the high-ranking points of strong pairs in Men’s Doubles (Chris Adcock/Andrew Ellis) and Mixed Doubles (Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock; at right) who were ranked No.13 and No.5 respectively on the seeding date of 3 July 2014.

India emerged a Commonwealth Games power in the mixed team event thanks to Saina Nehwal (Women’s Singles; bottom), Kashyap Parupalli (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 Commonwealth Games and are expected to feature in this year’s contests as well.

Singapore’s doubles combinations have helped them to the 3/4 seeding position: No.15 Women’s Doubles pair Shinta Mulia Sari/Yao Lei (45495 points) and No.11 Mixed Doubles pair Danny Bawa Chrisnanta/Vanessa Neo (47020 points).

Others in the seeding list are 5/8 seeds Scotland (151668 points), New Zealand (104984), Australia (98803) and Canada (88002), 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, Norfolk Islands and Jersey are also in the competition but Botswana have withdrawn.

The Commonwealth Games began in 1930 as the British Empire Games and badminton made its debut in the Games programme 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.