Doha: Two-time defending champions Qatar are ready to make it a hat-trick of titles in the Asian Handball Championship which starts in Suwon, South Korea on January 18.
Qatar, who open their campaign against debutants New Zealand in Group D also comprising China and Saudi Arabia, will face a tough challenge, said Team Manager Youssef Elmalem.
Our aim is to book a berth at the next World Championship in Denmark and Germany and to win the Asian tournament. But it’s not going to be easy,” Yousef told Doha Stadium Plus.
“Teams like South Korea and Japan are very strong, but in Valero Rivera we have a top-class coach. Besides we had great preparations. We are very satisfied with our preparations. We played six friendly games and won them all. We have don’t have any superstars in the team, but all players are ready to fight and that is our strength.”
The top four teams will qualify for the world championship to be held in January 2019.
Qatar, runners-up in the 2015 World Championship which they hosted, were thoroughly impressive in the recent four-nation friendly tournament.
They defeated Algeria 40-21, got the better of Iran 33-28 before putting it past Oman 38-18 on Wednesday.
Qatar team will leave for South Korea on Saturday.
Danijel Saric, Firas Chaieb, Rasheed Yusuff, Rafael Capote, Mahmoud Hassaballa, Abdulrazzaq Murad, Ahmad Madadi, Kamalaldin Mallash, Bertrand Roine, Hassan Mabrouk, Houssem Romane, Aljosa Cudic, Youssef Ali, Jovo Damjanovic, Moustafa Heiba, Anis Zouaoui, Allaedine Berrached, Frankis Marzo.