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Date: 1/17/2018
 

The northern city of Suwon, Korea, will play host to the 18th AHF Men’s Asian Championship from 18-28 January as 14 teams from Asia and Oceania come to play in a tournament of firsts.

 

Some of those firsts include Bangladesh making their debut in the competition, and the specially-invited Australia and New Zealand teams from Oceania, who will also break new ground.

 

Korea are the record title holders of the competition (nine), but the force from the middle east, Qatar have taken the regional superiority crown, winning the last two editions (2014 and 2016) and they will be the side to beat again.

The 14 teams will be split into four preliminary groups across two venues; the Seo-Suwon Chilbo Stadium and Suwon Indoor Stadium. Group A features Japan, Iran and Uzbekistan, Group B features Bahrain, Oman and Australia, Group C is home to host side Korea, UAE, India and Bangladesh, while Group D sees Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China and New Zealand prepare to face each other.

The top two teams in each group then progress through to the Main Round with all teams below them vying for the highest possible position in the tournament. First and second place positions in the Main Round will then go directly into the semi-finals and the winners of those matches will throw-off for the continental title at 19:00hrs (local time) on Sunday 28 January.

The top four Asian teams in Suwon will qualify for the 2019 IHF Men’s World Championship, to be held in Germany and Denmark next January. The Oceania representatives also have a chance to grab their ticket to the next Men’s World Championship – if the best Oceania team are ranked 5th or better at the Asian Championship, that team will qualify for the 2019 World Championship. In case Oceania is not reaching rank 5 the IHF Council is awarding this place as a free wild card.

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