CHNCoach: Shang Xi
People's Republic of China
A resurgent beach handball programme for P.R. of China has seen the nation step back onto the global stage after a spell in the late 2000s and early 2010s where the team competed at three IHF Women’s World Championships finishing in the bottom three places each time but improving from a 12th and bottom-placed finish in 2008, to 11th in 2010, and then into the top 10 in 2012, finishing ninth.
The 2012 rank came thanks to a shoot-out victory over Poland in their 9/10 placement match which had followed a preliminary round win over Uruguay and consolation round victories over Singapore, Thailand and Poland, for the first time.
Around the same period China took bronze at the 2013 AHF Women’s Asian Beach Handball Championship, but it then went quiet until a resurgence of interest and support for handball in the populous nation which started with a fourth-place in the 2017 continental event and then the big one – a gold medal at the 2019 continental championship, held on home sand in Weihai in June.
They managed to overcome Thailand’s dominance, defeating the winners of the three previous editions – in 2013, 2015 and 2017 – with five 2-0 victories in a row, against Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan in the round-robin event.
Unfortunately for China, their opening two group B matches will be a big test, starting with a clash against the current world champions Greece before an evening match against the 2016 world champions, Spain.
The second day will see them face Australia and the familiar Vietnamese team before they hope to replicate the victories of 2012 when they face Poland.
Captained by Ping Shen, China – coached by Shang Xi – have been preparing in Weifang City in Shandong Province, China.
“Our team is hoping to improve their skills and tactics by competing in these competitions and learning from other teams,” said Yao Feng, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Handball Association to IHF.info ahead of Qatar 2019. “We hope to achieve good results through this and through the strengths of our team which are solidarity and tenacity.
“It’s very important for our team to be attend the first-ever edition of the World Beach Games,” he continued. “It’s good for the popularisation of beach handball and the support from ANOC lightens the burden of the team and helps more teams to participate.
“We all love beach handball and our wish is that this sport continues to develop better and better.”
Key Players: Ping Shen (specialist), Jijuan Du (left wing)
Qualification for Qatar 2019: 2019 Asian (AHF) Women’s Beach Handball Championship – Winners
Group at Qatar 2019: Group B (Greece, Spain, Poland, P.R. of China, Australia, Vietnam)