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Date: 10/5/2016
 

From 21 September to 3 October 2016, athletes from more than 40 nations competed in 22 sports at the 5th Asian Beach Games held in Danang, Vietnam. With their first place in the women’s beach handball competition, the host team contributed one of the overall 52 gold medals Vietnam won at the Asian Beach Games and in the men’s beach handball tournament, Qatar succeeded in defending their title by beating Oman in the final.

 

During the preliminary round, it became apparent that two teams were standing out in their respective groups in the women’s tournament. In Group A, hosts Vietnam advanced to the semi-finals without a single loss, beating their opponents Jordan by 2:0, Chinese Taipei 2:1 and Hong Kong 2:0. China did the same in Group B and went on to the semi-finals with four wins out of four matches, defeating Thailand with 2:1, Japan 2:0, India 2:0 and Bangladesh, again, 2:0. In the semi-finals Vietnam had to face Thailand, whereas China was challenged by Chinese Taipei – both matches were decided by a 2:0 win for Vietnam and China, respectively.

 

In the third-place play-off Thailand thus faced Chinese Taipei. Both teams took part in the Beach Handball World Championships this summer. However, they did not have the chance to play against each other. Even though Chinese Taipei ranked better at the World Championship, Thailand emerged victorious at the Asian Beach Games and claimed the bronze medal with a 2:0 win.

 

The gold medal match was expected to be thrilling, as both Vietnam and China advanced to the final without a defeat. The hosts won the first period clearly 20:13. China, however, came back and defeated Vietnam in the second period narrowly by 17:16. By winning the following shoot-out 7:6, the hosts could claim the title in the end.

 

The men’s competition was very similar to the women’s tournament. Here as well, there were two teams who made it to the finals without a defeat: Qatar in Group A and Oman in Group B finished the preliminary round with the maximum amount of points. Qatar beat Pakistan, Thailand and India 2:0 but it was a shoot-out that decided the match against Bahrain (2:1). Oman demonstrated their strength against the hosts, Japan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan by defeating all teams 2:0. In the semi-finals Qatar faced Vietnam and advanced to the final with a 2:0 victory. Oman, however, went to the shoot-out, but beat Pakistan in the end 2:1.

 

The teams from Pakistan and Vietnam fought for the bronze medal and even though the hosts won the first period, Pakistan beat Vietnam in the second period to take the match to the shoot-out. This was only narrowly decided but the hosts had to admit defeat in the end, losing the shoot-out 8:10.

 

Oman and Qatar – both teams, who made it to the final of the men’s tournament, participated in the Beach Handball World Championship in July 2016, which promised a great final. Four years ago, at the last Asian Beach Games, Qatar could claim the gold medal and, thus, as defending champions and World Championship bronze medallists Qatar were the favourites. Oman was not impressed by that and kept the spectators at the edge of their seats by winning the second period 24:22 after a close defeat in the first period (22:23). The following shoot-out, however, showed the strength of Qatar who, once again, emerged victorious at the Beach Games, winning 6:2.


For more information about the Asian Beach Games visit the official website www.abg2016.com.


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