Türkiye and Qatar seal gold medals at the Islamic Solidarity Games

16 Aug. 2022

Türkiye and Qatar seal gold medals at the Islamic Solidarity Games

Handball featured prominently at the fifth edition of the Islamic Solidarity Games, which are running from 9 to 18 August 2022 in Konya, Türkiye, with Qatar’s men and Türkiye’s women claiming the top of the podium.

Six teams eventually took part in the men’s tournament, which were divided into two groups of three teams each, with the first two sides in each group earning a place in the semi-finals.

After a 29:25 win against Morocco, Saudi Arabia claimed the first place in the group with a 27:27 draw against Qatar, courtesy of their better goal difference, +4, as opposed to Qatar’s +2.

In the other group, the Islamic Republic of Iran clinched two wins, 26:20 against Türkiye and 42:20 against Azerbaijan, with Türkiye claiming second place.

Going back and forth, the hosts managed to qualify for the final, with a narrow 26:25 win against Saudi Arabia in the first semi-final, while Qatar delivered a stunning comeback to seal a 24:23 win against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Türkiye were the favourites against Qatar, but the Asian side’s superior experience was the decisive point in the final, where they claimed their first-ever gold medal with a 26:23 win.

The Islamic Republic of Iran capped off an impressive tournament with a 30:21 win against Saudi Arabia to seal the bronze medal.

In only the second edition of the women’s tournament at the Islamic Solidarity Games, Türkiye avenged Baku 2017, when they lost the final against Azerbaijan, clinching the gold medal with five wins out of five games.

With eight teams at the start, the women’s tournament was played in a round-robin format with two groups of four teams each, as Türkiye and Azerbaijan, the last edition’s finalists, clinched three wins.

In the semi-finals, Türkiye sealed a 34:23 win against Cameroon, while Azerbaijan had little trouble of securing a victory against Uzbekistan, 40:27.

However, the hosts were too strong for Azerbaijan this time, clinching a 30:24 win in the final, as the bronze medal went to Cameroon, who delivered a clear win, 40:27, against Uzbekistan.

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The Islamic Solidarity Games is a multi-disciplinary sports organisation under the supervision of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation, whose members are the countries that have joined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. 

The purpose of the Islamic Solidarity Games is to support the development of the athletes of the Islamic geography and strengthen comradery and solidarity among the athletes. In member states, the non-Muslim citizens are also allowed to participate in the games.

The previous editions were staged in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2005, Palembang, Indonesia, in 2013, and Baku, Azerbaijan in 2017. The second edition, which was due to be hosted in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s capital Tehran was cancelled.

Photo: Turkish Handball Federation / Ekrem Öszoy