Handball

Qatar depart for Saudi to defend its Asian title

The Qatar handball team will leave for Saudi Arabia today to participate in the 20th Asian Men’s Championship which will be held in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia from January 18 to 31. The tournament is also serving as a qualifier for the World Championships to be held in Poland and Sweden in 2023.

Qatar have been drawn in Group C along with the UAE, Iraq and Oman. The maroons will begin their campaign against Oman on Tuesday, then will play Iraq on Wednesday. Qatar meets UAE in the third and final match of the group stage on Thursday.

The other groups include South Korea, Kuwait, Jordan and Singapore; and Saudi Arabia, Iran, Australia and India; Bahrain, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

The first and second place winners from each group will qualify for the main round, where the eight qualified teams will be divided into two groups, with four teams in each group, with the first and second advancing to the semi-finals.

The top five teams in the Asian Championship will qualify for the 2023 World Championships. Qatar had made the quarter-finals of the last World Championship in Egypt last year, fetching Asia an additional seat in the next edition. Qatar have been highly successful at the Asian Championships, claiming four consecutive titles in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 editions. Team Qatar defeated South Korea to clinch their fourth straight Asian crown in Kuwait last year.

The Qatar delegation is headed by Adel Hilal al-Enezi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Qatar Handball Association, and includes Yousef al-Hail as the team manager, Youssef al-Moallem as administrative staff while the team is coached by Valero Rivera of Spain.

Qatar squad:  Ahmed Mohamed Maddi, Rafael Capote, Bilal Labinca, Aladdin Nabil Bel Rashed, Salem Anwar al-Jadeed, Rashid Yusef Olkonel, Ibrahim Shebl Obaid, Hamad Mohamed Maddi, Ahmed Magdy Abd al-Rahim, Marwan Ali Sassi, Youssef Tayeb bin Ali, Abd Al Rahman Tariq al-Abdullah, Wajdi Ibrahim Sinan, Mahmoud Ahmad Zaki, Ali Inad al-Diri, Elder Moussoufik, Amin Mowaffaq Zakkar, Kamal El Din Imad Malach, Yassin Sami Hammadi, Franks Carol Marzo, Anadine Jessefis, Ahmed Nader Naseem, Mustafa Amir Heiba and Anis Abdel-Razzaq Zawawi.

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