5/17/2017 8:39:30 AM



QATAR defended the Asian beach handball title with a 2-0 win against Oman in the final at Pattaya, Thailand, last Monday.

The tournament’s sixth edition was a qualifier for the 2018 World Championship to be held in Sochi, Russia, with the top-four teams guaranteed a place in the biennial event.

The four-a-side tournament was played in a best-of-three-sets format.

It was Qatar’s record fourth successive triumph at the biennial event held under the aegis of Asian Handball Confederation.

Qatar had lost 0-2 to Oman in the group stage, their only reversal in the tournament.

They had defeated Uzbekistan 2-0 and Chinese Taipei 2-0 in the other Group A matches.

Finishing second in the group, they took on Group B leaders Vietnam in the semifinal and won 2-0 to set up a title clash with Oman, who had defeated Iran 2-1 in the other last-four encounter.

It eventually turned out to be a repeat of the 2015 final played in Muscat, where Qatar had tamed the home side by an identical score line.

They took the first set 15-14 and closed the contest with a 17-10 win in the second. 

“We had qualified for the World Championship when we reached the semifinal. But we stayed focused and made sure the Asian title stayed with us for the fourth time in a row,” said seasoned campaigner Anis Al Zawawi.

Iran beat Vietnam 2-1 in third-place play-off. 

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