Indian shuttlers face a tough draw in the knockout stage of the Sudirman Cup mixed team championship, but national coach P Gopi Chand is not complaining.
India have a chance to vie for the title - however far-fetched it may seem, and that's what Gopi Chand is happy about.
The quarterfinal draw was released on Thursday and India are to take on China in the knockout stage. China defeated Japan 5-0 to finish at the top.
“Thanks to the new format, we have reached so far for the first time. We were stuck at the third level for many years but now we have a chance to compete against the top teams,” he told HT from Qingdao, China, on Wednesday.
India are seeded 10th and have made it to the Elite Group on the basis of their world ranking. India lost the first tie to Chinese Taipei but edged past Thailand 3-2 to finish second in their group.
“We would be looking for a good show from our doubles department. Against Thailand, the men (Rupesh Kumar-Sanave Thomas) and women (Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa) saved the day even though Saina Nehwal lost,” he said. “Mixed doubles has been our strength but we are missing (V) Diju,” he added. Diju, Jwala's mixed doubles partner, is recovering from surgery.
Other teams to make it to the quarters are Denmark, Korea, China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei.