South Korea, who arrived on Saturday, have started their training at the Dubai Exhibition Centre. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The excitement around the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships has hit the peak with the top teams including China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and India have arrived for the continent’s top prize, set to begin at the Expo City Dubai Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.

Singapore, Chinese Taipei and South Korea, who arrived on Saturday, along with the UAE have started their training at the Dubai Exhibition Centre.

“Our first batch of teams have arrived. And we are very happy to welcome them all. The teams have already started training at the venue and looks ready to start their campaign at the event. The action is set to begin with all the preparations done,” said Dr. Sathya Menon, CEO of Beyond Boundaries.

Warm greetings

Meanwhile, UAE Badminton Federation President Noura Aljasmi too sent her warm greetings to the arriving teams and wished everyone a lovely time in Dubai.

Two-time Olympic medallist P.V. Sindhu, who along with H.S. Prannoy, the world No 9 men’s singles player, will lead Team India’s campaign, has arrived here and was confident of India’s good show. Team India are placed in Group B alongside Malaysia.

“It’s always nice to play in Dubai. I played last in Dubai at the BWF Superseries Finals. The Team Championships are always different; and I love the atmosphere. I hope we can put up a strong show at the event. We have some of the best men’s singles players in Prannoy and Lakshya (Sen) and doubles teams as well. We are confident of a good show,” said Sindhu.

Japan’s mixed doubles specialist Yuta Watanabe was excited to be here too and is looking forward to starting the team’s first match in Group D. “I am very excited to be in Dubai and play some good matches in front of Dubai crowd. I will try to do my best for my team. Good Luck to everyone.”

Indonesia’s world No 2 men’s singles player Anthony Sinisuka Ginting was keenly looking forward to the event and felt that it is going to be an “exciting contest”.

China will have names like Zhao Junpeng, who was part of China’s gold medal winning team at 2019 edition, and Huang Dong Ping, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallist. Malaysia, meanwhile, will be led by their star doubles pair Soh Wooi Yik and Aaron Chia.

The Championships, which will feature one men’s singles, one women’s singles, one men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and a mixed doubles game in a rubber, will open with round robin matches in the four groups on Tuesday. Two teams from each group will advance to the knock-out round ties that will be decided after a draw.

Two medals

China and Japan have two medals each, including a gold each, in the history of the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship, while Indonesia has one, and Malaysia has none. Meanwhile, India could not go past the group stage in the 2019 edition.

This is the first time the UAE is hosting the Badminton Asia Champion- ships, which holds great significance as they act as the qualifying window to the prestigious Olympics Games. The events also give players the opportunity to qualify for world badminton championships like Sudirman Cup, Thomas and Uber Cups, and other major tournaments.