Asian Beach Handball Championship: Oman finishes runner-up

The victorious Qatar team

The trophy continues to elude Oman as for the fifth successive time, it went down to defending champions Qatar 0-2, in the summit clash of the seventh Asian Men's and Women's Beach Handball Championship at the Tianmu Resort Village in Zhang Jiachan Town of Weihai City in China's Shandong Province on Monday.

The reigning champion eased to a 12-8, 16-14 win to secure its fifth consecutive crown, a journey, which started in 2011. Oman, which won the inaugural edition in 2004, has now got the dubious record of ending runner-up five times in a row.

Omanteam

The Oman team, which finished runner-up at the Asian Beach Handball Championship in Weihai, China, on Monday

Hamood al Hassani's men, however, returns to Oman with their heads held high as they not only secured a spot in the ninth IHF World Men's and Women's Beach Handball Championship-2020 in Italy but also sealed a berth in the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar, from October 12-16 this year.

Oman booked a place in the beach handball worlds for sixth successive time, starting from 2010. It made its debut in the worlds in 2004 but failed to make it to the next two editions in 2006 and 2008.

It then returned to the worlds in Antalya, Turkey, in 2010, and since then it has qualified for every edition of the worlds.

Oman's best-finish so far at the worlds has been a seventh-place in Budapest, Hungary, in 2016. At the last edition held in July 2018 in Kazan, Russia, Oman had finished tenth.

At the Asian championship, which concluded in Weihai on Monday, Oman's performance was satisfying. In its run-up to the title clash, it had lost just one of the six matches it played with the lose defeat coming at the hands of Thailand.

Oman was placed in a tough Pool B that comprised former champion Pakistan, former runner-up Iran and former bronze medallist Japan. It got the better of Vietnam in a thrilling semifinal but failed to deny the fancied Qataris of their fifth title.

Earlier, in a bronze-medal playoff match, Iran edged past Vietnam 2-1. Iran won the first game 14-10 only for Vietnam to draw level with a 18-16 win to force a shootout. Iran won the decider 5-4.

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