Jakarta, Indonesia: Defending champions Qatar opened their campaign in the handball competition with a thumping 64-11 win over Malaysia here at Popki Stadium on Monday.
Qatar is seeded at the top following its best achievements in the 2014 Incheon Games and the Team Championship in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
"Our team deserves to retain the title this time. Thanks to both the players and the management for their hard work over the past few years," said coach Valero Rivera.
Qatar had beaten Bahrain 33-31 (16-17) at the 2018 Asian Championship final in Suwon, South Korea, management.
"We are obviously the best in Asia. Three victories in a row have shown that we had managed to overcome those doubts," said the Spaniard.
Bahrain, who finished behind Qatar in 2014, 2016 and 2018 Asian Championships, will, however, remain a serious challenger here.
Bahrain is in Group D with Chinese Taipei, India and Iraq while Qatar is clubbed with with Iran and Malaysia in Group A.