Qatar will debut at the Olympics in men’s handball after winning the Asian Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament. Eleven teams were split into two groups where the top two advanced to the semifinals. The winner of the tournament was given a spot to compete at the Olympics. The Asian Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament was held in Doha, Qatar from November 14th to November 17th 2015.
Group A was topped by Bahrain and South Korea as they racked up three wins a piece before facing off each other in the final match of the group. Despite a strong start by South Korea whom led 19-12 at the half it was Bahrain whom controlled the second half of the game to win the group narrowly in a 31-30 victory.
Group B was dominated by world silver medalist Qatar as they won all five of their matches with only Saudi Arabia losing by single digits. Saudi Arabia was unable to extend that performance in its other matches as losses to Iran and Japan cost it a spot in the semifinals. The second place team of the group was Iran whom faced stiff defense by Japan to win the match 31-27.
Iran and Qatar advanced to the finals by having a strong first half as they were able to maintain their lead over Bahrain and Japan respectively to win 35-30 and 30-26 respectively. In the final Iran attempted to gain a sustainable lead, but whenever they pushed Qatar was always there to answer back as Qatar went on to win the tournament 28-19. Bahrain won the bronze medal by defeating South Korea 34-21.
Despite their loss Iran will get a second chance at the final Olympic qualification tournament. Since Asia was the second best continent at the World Championships they were given an additional spot at the final tournament which went to Bahrain.
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- AHF. 2015 Asian Men’s Qualification for Olympic Games 2016 Results. Access on November 27 2015.