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Monday, 22 July, 2002, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK

England face Malaysia showdown

Top seeds England have been drawn in the same group as gold medal rivals Malaysia in the Commonwealth Games mixed team badminton competition.

As a result one of the two favourites for the title will be eliminated because only the winners from the four groups qualify for the semi-finals.

Group A
Malaysia
Canada
Trinidad & Tobago
England
Nigeria

Results from the men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles determine which country tops the four groups of five.

England team manager Finn Traerup-Hansen said having Malaysia in the same group would be a difficult challenge.

Group B
Australia
Maldives
Scotland
Guernsey
Jersey

"It's unfortunate," he said.

"Malaysia are very strong opposition and it means we play a very important match earlier than anticipated but, if we are to win a gold, we have to beat them."

Group C
Wales
Singapore
Botswana
Barbados
Ghana

Scotland, who are seeded third, face Jersey, Guernsey and the Maldives in their group as well as sixth seeds Australia. Coach Dan Travers revealed he was happy with the outcome.

"This is Scotland's best ever opportunity to win its first ever Gamesmedal," said Travers.

Group D
Northern Ireland
New Zealand
India
Mozambique
Seychelles

"It's the draw I didn't imagine we would ever get so we're delighted.

"Australia will give us the biggest challenge in the group. They have one of the top female players in the world so we will need to give them respect."

Wales team manager Andy Burke said: "It will be a big game for us against Singapore but, with Richard Vaughan and Kelly Morgan in our team, we have a good chance."

The event begins at the Bolton Arena on 26 July.

Each tie will comprise five matches (1 x men's singles, 1 x women's singles, 1 x men's doubles, 1 x women's doubles, 1 x mixed doubles).


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