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England face tough badminton draw

20 July 2002

Archrivals England and Malaysia have drawn the same group in the mixed team badminton competition.

Jo Goode and Gail Emms

Joanne Goode and Gail Emms

This means that at least one of the two favourites for the gold medal will be eliminated in the group stages as only the winners of each of the four groups progress to the semi-finals.

England team manager Finn Traerup Hansen said: “It is unfortunate. Malaysia are very, very strong opposition. We are the two strongest teams in the competition. It means we play a very important match earlier than anticipated.”

The manager then added optimistically: “I think we stand a good chance to win on home ground with home support. If we are to win the gold medal, we have to beat them.”

Also results from the other badminton events will determine which country tops each group.

England and Malaysia are joined in Group A by Nigeria, Canada and Trinidad & Tobago.

Scotland are in Group B with Australia, Maldives, Jersey and Guernsey.

Wales are up against Singapore, Ghana, Barbados and Botswana in Group C.

And Northern Ireland face New Zealand, India, Mozambique and Seychelles in Group D.

England’s best cards are the pairing of Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms who are ranked number three in the world and women's doubles pairing Joanne Goode and Emms.

Malaysia boast reigning Commonwealth champion and world number four Wong Choong Hang in their team and the world number two ranked men's doubles pairing of Chew Choon Eng and Chan Chong Ming.

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