MUSCAT, April 14 –
Oman will join Iran, India and Yemen in Group 4 of the Asian Men’s Junior (Under-19) Handball Championship to be held in Salalah from July 15-25 this year.
The draw of the Asian Under-19 Handball Championship was held at City Seasons Hotel in Al Khuwair on Friday under the auspices of Ahmed bin Ali al Balushi, CEO of Mwasalat, and in the presence of Dr Said al Shehri, Oman Handball Association Chairman, and members of the organising committee for the championship.
The 14 participating teams were divided into four groups. Oman, Yemen, Iran are placed in group 4 along with India. Defending champions Japan will play in group one comprising China, South Korea and Lebanon.
In Group two, Qatar are clubbed with Iraq, Syria and Palestine. Meanwhile, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are clubbed in Group 3 with Uzbekistan and Chinese Taipei.
During the draw ceremony and as per Asian Handball Federation (AHF) rules, the host nation has the option of choosing the group it wants to be in. Oman decided to be a part of Group 4 along with Iran, India and Yemen.
The top two teams from each group, will qualify for the semifinals.
“It is very difficult to predict the performance of junior teams with the generation changing frequently. The handball technical level in Asia is growing rapidly. We tried our best to avoid Bahrain and Japan teams during selection of groups. Both teams were among the top four teams in last edition of Asian U-16 championship. Therefore, we are expecting almost the same players to represent both these teams,” Mohammed Abdul Mutei, head coach of Oman national U-19 team, said.
“I am focusing more on U-16 players since our main target is to prepare players for the future of Oman national team. My task with U-19 team is very difficult since almost all our players are studying in school. Preparation plan will conflict with Ramadhan month. We will try our best to have good technical preparation,” coach Abdul Mutei concluded.
Group 1: Japan, China, South Korea, Lebanon
Group 2: Qatar, Iraq, Syria, Palestine
Group 3: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Chinese Taipei
Group 4: Oman, Iran, India, Yemen