Thailand’s men and women dominate home sand in South East Asian beach champs

25 Nov. 2022

Thailand’s men and women dominate home sand in South East Asian beach champs

Host nation Thailand won the Men’s and Women’s 2022 South East Asia Handball Federation (SEAHAF) Beach Handball Championship, which concluded last weekend in Bangkok.

A total of 26 games – 12 in the women’s and 14 in the men’s – were played at the Bangkok Campus of the Thailand National Sports University from Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 November.

In addition, an Asian Handball Federation (AHF) beach handball referee course ran alongside the championships.

Women’s Competition

The Thailand women’s side took gold after they won five of their six games 2-0 in the round-robin, four-team tournament. After seeing off Singapore in their opener, they defeated Indonesia, then Vietnam. In the second round of games, they beat Indonesia and Singapore again before losing to Asian champions Vietnam in their closing match via shoot-out (2-1).

Thailand, who finished 10th at the 2022 IHF Women’s Beach Handball World Championships last June, won the championship, thanks to their better set difference, against Vietnam. Both teams won five games each, but in their head-to-head Thailand’s 2-0 victory was better than Vietnam’s 2-1 win.

Men’s Competition

Thailand men’s ‘A’ team won gold, winning all but one of their six games 2-0, only dropping one set, against Philippines in their opener.

The host nation fielded two teams – an ‘A’ and ‘B’ side – in the men’s competition due to the number of players available, and they ended up meeting in the final, which the A side won 2-0.

A serious threat to the host nation emerged from the Philippines side, with that shoot-out match against Thailand, plus wins against Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand B in the group phase. However, Thailand’s second side got their revenge in the semi-final, defeating them via a shoot-out.

Philippines, who finished fifth in the Asian championships, went on to win bronze, defeating Singapore 2-0 for the second time.

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Referee course

A total of 12 male and female couples from Thailand, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Korea Republic, Vietnam, Kuwait, Singapore, and Islamic Republic of Iran participated in the course. It was led by lecturers Dr Chatchai Sangsukeelux and Saleh bin Ashour, who is also the AHF Playing Rules and Referees Commission (PRC) Chairman.

“The course was held to help continue the promotion of beach handball across Southeast Asia,” explained Dr Sangsukeelux to “I’m really satisfied with all of the couples. They worked very hard to pass this course, which they all did – they were very good in both their writing and fitness tests as well.

“It’s also very important that we have a traditionally, big indoor handball country like Korea interested in beach handball,” he added. “As part of the Asian Handball Federation Beach Handball Working Group, we are trying to build up the sport in the region, which is a big challenge in Asia.

“We continue to develop the sport together across the 10 countries of Southeast Asia, which is a perfect location for playing beach handball.

“We have the South East Asian Games (SEA Games) in Thailand in the next two years and continue pushing beach and indoor handball to be included in South East Asian championships every year.

“2023 will be an important year for the sport in our region as Indonesia will host the Asian men’s and women’s championships, followed by the second edition of the ANOC World Beach Games, to be held in Bali.”

Final Ranking Women

1. Thailand

2. Vietnam

3. Indonesia

4. Singapore

Final Ranking Men

1. Thailand A 

2. Thailand B 

3. Philippines 

4. Singapore, 5. Indonesia

Photo in courtesy of Handball Federation Thailand