BWF pins hopes on new format

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is expecting new faces to challenge traditional powerhouses and new group stage format to shine at the coming London Olympic Games badminton competition starting in less than two weeks.

At the Beijing Olympic Games, all of the medals were won by four Asian teams -- China, Indonesia, South Korea and Malaysia -- but in the past four years, Japan, Chinese Taipei and other teams have enjoyed a fast development and have more players qualified for the London Games.

Different from previous Olympic badminton competition, the London Games will also witness the debut of a new format, to be played on two stages -- group play and knockout stages.

BWF established the new format where men’s and women’s singles players will be divided into 16 groups. Players will play in a round-robin format in the group stage while first-place finishers from each group qualify for the knockout stage.

For the pairs events, players in men’s, women’s and mixed doubles will be divided into four groups respectively, with a maximum of four pairs in each group, while top two pairs from each group qualify for the knockout stage.

“The group stage is new and we are sure this will enhance the drama and excitement as each group builds to a climax,” said BWF vice-president Paisan Rangsikitpho.

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