Following a random draw this evening at the Badminton World Federation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the players selected for Men's Singles and Women's Singles at this month's Youth Olympic Games now know who their Mixed Doubles partner will be.
Among the first out of the box was current two-time Women's Singles World Junior champion, Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, and she was drawn with Ruslan Sarsekenov of Ukraine (below). Shi Yuqi of China, the Men’s Singles runner-up at this year’s BWF World Junior Championships, will have Australia’s Joy Lai, next to him on court while Dipesh Dhami of Nepal and Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungpan will do battle together.
This is the first time any badminton doubles will be played at a Youth Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee has devised this novel format for determining the Mixed Doubles pairs in an effort to foster friendships between athletes from different backgrounds and cultures. The badminton competition takes place at the Nanjing Sport Institute, 17-22 August, while the Youth Olympic Games run 16-28 August.
See the full list of 32 pairs here and watch the Mixed Doubles draw here.