New Zealand withdraws from BWF Thomas Cup Finals 2022; USA steps in
New Zealand has withdrawn from participating in the upcoming BWF Thomas Cup Finals 2022 that will take place on May 8-15 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. The United States will take their place on Group D.
According to Badminton New Zealand, several of their players have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in a severely depleted team.
“The difficult decision to withdraw the team was made, considering all factors, and putting player welfare at the forefront of our thinking. We are focused on supporting the remaining New Zealand players in Australia and getting them home safely, as soon as possible,” said Badminton New Zealand in their statement.
New Zealand initially qualified as the best team in Oceania based on BWF world team rankings. Hong Kong and Spain were next in line to replace them, but they too declined.
The United States stepped in as the 19th-ranked team. Their men’s team finished fourth in the recently held 2022 Pan Am Male & Female Badminton Cup in Mexico in February.
This marks the return of the 1952 Thomas Cup finalists after a decade-long absence. They last competed in the 2012 edition that was played in China. Coincidentally, they were also on Group D, finishing behind South Korea and Germany.